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marine Resources Center

mrc squid
Laboratory of Alan Kuzirian

Alan Kuzirian, Associate Scientist
Marine Resources Center 212
7 MBL Street
Woods Hole, MA 02543
Research Staff:
Hemant Chikarmane, Frank Child
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Research in this laboratory explores the functional morphology and ultrastructure of various organ systems in mollusks. The program includes mariculture of the nudibranch Hermissenda crassicornis with emphasis on developing reliable culture methods for rearing and maintaining the animal as a research resource. The process of metamorphic induction by natural and artificial inducers is also being explored. Morphologic studies stress the ontogeny of neural and sensory structures associated with the photic and vestibular systems that have been the focus of learning and memory studies. Concurrent research includes behavioral studies and immunogeochemical investigations of the Ca2+/GTP binding protein, calexcitin, along with cell adhesion molecules (CAM) and their relationship to the acquisition of learning, as well as short- and long-term memory.

Active research also includes population genetic studies using RAPD-PCR DNA fingerprinting techniques to assess the standing stocks and population structure of bay scallops (Argopecten irradians), sea scallops (Placopecten magellanicus), Atlantic goosefish (Lophius americanus), and yellowtail flounder (Limanda ferruginea) in the Northeast Fisheries Region.

Collaborative research focuses on histochemical investigations of strontium's role in initiating calcification in molluscan embryos (shell and statoliths), immuno-cytochemical labeling of cell-surface antigens, neurosecretory products, second messenger proteins involved with learning and memory, as well as intracellular transport vesicles in squid (Loligo pealeii) giant axons and Hermissenda sensory and neurosecretory neurons. Additional collaborations involve studying neuronal development of myelin, myelination defects, and nerve regeneration and repair in phylogenetically conserved vertebrate nervous systems.

Systematic and taxonomic studies of nudibranch mollusks, including molecular phylogenetics, are also of interest, as are collaborative, phylogenetic, and functional mophologic studies on the Aplacophora.

Associate Scientist Alan Kuzirian

Alan Kuzirian Education:

  Ph.D. Zoology, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
    Masters Degree, Northeastern University, Boston, MA
    BA Degree, Northeastern University, Boston, MA

Recent Publications:

Sussman R; Sharma SK; Kuzirian A. 2008. Catalytic activities of recA protein are dependent on the lattice length of the single-strand DNA ligand. Cell Cycle. 7 (1): 89-95.

Seaver, G; Kuzirian, A. 2007. Nitrate migration through groundwater, estuaries, and bays at climatic frequencies and scales. Journal of Coastal Research. 23 (4): 1000-1009.

Kuzirian A; Epstein HT; Gagliardi CJ; Nelson TJ; Sakakibara M; Taylor C; Scioletti AB; Alkon DL. 2006. Bryostatin enhancement of memory in hermissenda. Biological Bulletin. 210 (3): 201-14.

Alkon, DL; Epstein, H; Kuzirian, A; Bennett, MC; Nelson, TJ. 2005. Protein synthesis required for long-term memory is induced by PKC activation on days before associative learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102 (45) 16432-16437.