J.M. Wojtowicz, Ph.D.
wojtowicz 2014

Contact Information:

Phone: (416) 978-2899
Fax: (416) 978-4373
Email: martin.wojtowicz@utoronto.ca
Webpage: http://www.newneuron.com/
Address: Department of Physiology
Medical Sciences Building, Room 3214
University of Toronto
1 King's College Circle
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
M5S 1A8

ACADEMIC STATUS
Departmental Status: Full Professor & Graduate Co-Coordinator


Primary/Cross-Appointments:
Department of Physiology

Degrees: Ph.D. 1978

Courses taught: Psl 1026 Physiological experimentation, Psl 1050 Hippocampus (Course director), Psl 374 Advanced physiology laboratory (Course director).


RESEARCH
Research Divisions: Platform Head, Brain Research and Integrated Neurophysiology B.R.A.I.N. Platform


Research Interests:
Mechanisms and Functions of adult neurogenesis in the mammalian brain.

Keywords: Synapse, Hippocampus, Neuronal Plasticity, Adult Neurogenesis, Learning and Memory, Mechanisms of Cognitive Aging, Alzheimer’s disease, Stroke.

Detailed Description:
Mechanism of long-term neuronal plasticity in rat brain. Research is directed towards understanding of long-term changes in brain circuit organization and synaptic connections during learning. Experiments are done primarily in vivo or in brain slices with the use of immunohistochemical, electrophysiological, ultrastructural, pharmacological techniques. These are supplemented by targeted behavioural tests. Questions under investigation are: a) What are the molecular and physiological factors controlling the rate of neuronal production and growth in the adult brain? b) What is the role of the new-born neurons in the dentate gyrus ? c) What are the differences between young and old neurons co-existing within the adult brain structure? d) Is cognitive decline with aging caused by decrease in hippocampal neurogenesis. e) Can a decline in adult neurogenesis explain some of the cognitive changes seen in Alzheimer’s disease, stroke or cancer patients treated with chemotherapy?
METHODS USED
Cell and tissue culture: Brain slice, hippocampal slice cultures.

Procedures: Electrophysiology, immunohistochemistry, immunocytochemistry, in vitro electrophysiology, RIA, stereotaxic brain surgery, voltage clamp.

EQUIPMENT USED
Confocal microscope, culture hood, dissecting microscope, electrophysiology rig, fixed tissue sectioning system (vibratome), fluorescence microscope, fresh tissue sectioning systems, micropipette puller, pressure osmometer, rat running wheels, vibratome. 


SAMPLE PUBLICATIONS AND ABSTRACTS
Click on link to PubMed for original papers.
REVIEWS:

Wojtowicz, J.M. Adult Neurogenesis. From circuits to models. Behavioural Brain Res., 2012, 227, 490-496.

Wojtowicz, J.M. Neurogenesis-based regeneration and cognitive therapy. Is it feasible? In: Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, Evidence and Application, Second Edition. Eds: Stuss, D.T., Winocur, G., Robertson, I.H., 2008, chapt. 20, 348-359.

Barker, J. M., Boonstra, R., Wojtowicz, J.M. (2011). "From pattern to purpose: how comparative studies contribute to understanding the function of adult neurogenesis." Eur.J.Neurosci 34 963-977.

Wojtowicz, J.M. Neurogenesis-based regeneration and cognitive therapy. Is it feasible? In: Cognitive Neurorehabilitation, Evidence and Application, Second Edition. Eds: Stuss, D.T., Winocur, G., Robertson, I.H., 2008, chapt. 20, 348-359.

Abrous, N., Wojtowicz, J.M. Neurogenesis and the hippocampal memory system. In: Adult Neurogenesis. Eds: Gage, F.H., Kempermann,G., Song, H., 2008, chapt. 21, 445-465.

PRESENT TRAINEES

Adam Mosa - MSc. Candidate
Charles Jian - PSL 498 project student
Johnny Huang - PSL 498 project student
Fabiha Rahman, Mable Chan, and Maria Sherman - ROP 299 project students

PRESENT COLLABORATIONS
Within the Department of Physiology:
Dr. Beverly Orser
Dr. Rudy Boonstra


Outside the Department of Physiology:

Dr. Sue Becker - Psychology/McMaster/Canada
Dr. Gordon Winocur - Psychology/Baycrest/Canada
Dr. David Smith - Psychology/Cornell/US
Dr. David Cechetto - Anatomy & Cell Biology/UWO/Canada

Committee member/Officer of national or international scientific organization: Member - Society for Neuroscience, Canadian Association of Neuroscience, Canadian Physiological Society, Southern Ontario Neuroscience Association