Laboratory space in the Durham Research Center

Scientifica 2-photon/electrophysiology system. Equipped with Axon/Molecular Devices electrophysiology hardware & software.

15-micron fluorescent beads lodged in Schlemm's canal of a mouse eye. ​

Calcium imaging in a rod photoreceptor


Patch-clamp electrophysiology: Whole-cell and cell-attached electrophysiological recordings of neurons in retina and brain slices allows for monitoring voltage- and ligand-gated channel properties, synaptic transmission, and spiking behavior.

Synaptic physiology:
Physiological approaches to understand the processes regulating information transmission across synapses throughout the nervous system

Electroretinogram (ERG): An electrophysiological technique for probing the function of retinal circuits in living animals. Thanks to funding from the Nebraska Bankers Association, a new ERG system from Diagnosys LLC is up and running in the lab!

2-photon microscopy:
Fluorescence microscopy technique using infrared laser excitation of fluorophores for fluorescence-guided patch clamp recordings, neuroanatomy, and live imaging approaches. 2-photon microscopy and patch-clamp electrophysiology system from Scientifica is up and running!

Calcium imaging: Calcium sensitive fluorescent dyes report relative and absolute calcium levels in subcellular compartments of neurons.

Immunohistochemistry and neuroanatomy: Techniques to study the structure and connections of neurons. Immunohistochemistry relies on antibody detection of proteins of interest. Other neuroanatomical techniques include targeted cell filling and dendritic reconstructions.

Mouse genetics: Breeding and producing a variety of mouse reporter lines to target populations of neurons for electrophysiological or anatomical studies. Includes fluorescence, optogenetic, and calcium indicator reporter lines. 

Animal disease models: Inducible and chronic glaucoma models to study the effects of glaucoma on visual system function. 

Rod bipolar cell filled with a fluorescent dye during whole-cell recording.


 Our lab is housed in the beautiful Durham Research Center I on the western side of the the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus. The building was completed in 2003 and has state-of-the art laboratory space, AAALAC-accredited animal facilities, and a host of research cores

Patch-clamp electrophysiology rig equipped with an Olympus BX51-WI fluorescent microscope, a Tucsen digital camera, Sutter manipulators for paired recodings, Molecular Devices electrophysiology hardware, WPI Pneumatic Picopump, and an A-M Systems pulse stimulator. 

Sholl analysis of retinal ganglion cell dendritic structure. 

Van Hook Lab