SynFinity – a tandem affinity synapse purification system to probe neural connectivity.

Andrew F MacAskill (primary)
Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology
University college London
Matthew G. Gold (secondary)
Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology / Neuroscience, Physiology and Pharmacology
UCL / Birkbeck


A key underlying principle in brain circuity is input-specificity. For example, in prefrontal cortex – a region crucial for decision making – synaptic input from thalamus confers distinct information from local cortical input. This is thought to be made possible by differences in the molecular make-up of the synapses that make up each input. In this project we will develop SynFinity (Synaptic tandem affinity with infinite possibility), a technique that will allow high-throughput molecular characterisation of synaptic connections with input-specificity for the first time. This project combines expertise in systems neuroscience and input-specific anatomy (MacAskill) and molecular biology and proteomics (Gold).


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Wee RWS, MacAskill AF. Biased Connectivity of Brain-wide Inputs to Ventral Subiculum Output Neurons. Cell Rep. 2020;30(11):3644-3654.e6

Walker-Gray R, Stengel F, Gold MG. Mechanisms for restraining cAMP-dependent protein kinase revealed by subunit quantitation and cross-linking approaches. PNAS 2017;114(39):10414-10419

Molecules, cells and industrial biotechnology
Area of Biology
Cell BiologyNeurobiologyPhysiology
Techniques & Approaches
BiochemistryImage ProcessingMicroscopy / ElectrophysiologyMolecular Biology