Azam Asgarihafshejani (Asgari) received her PhD in Physiology from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran, Iran where her research focused on using electrophysiological approaches to study epilepsy. She then completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Delaney lab in the Biology department at the University of Victoria studying a mouse model of Rett Syndrome. Before joining the Woodin lab Azam also completed a second post-doctoral fellowship in the Lacaille lab at Université de Montreal where she complemented her previous experience with novel approaches using cell-specific conditional knockout mouse lines, optogenetics, and patch clamp electrophysiology. In that project, she developed optogenetic protocols to selectively activate synaptic inputs from CA1 pyramidal cells onto somatostatin interneurons using ChR2 and induce long-term potentiation of EPSPs.
Azam’s main research interests lie in synaptic plasticity and transmission. In service of this the goal of her current project in the Woodin lab is to study cellular, synaptic and circuit-level mechanisms underlying perceptual learning in the auditory system of mice. To do so in collaboration with the Mizrahi and Marin-Burgin labs she is using genetic strategies, novel auditory learning behavioral assays, and electrophysiology to access and measure behaviorally relevant cells and circuits in mouse models.