Graham Ellis-Davies, PhD
img_Graham Ellis-Davies
PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
PROFESSOR | Pharmacological Sciences
Research Topics
Alzheimer's Disease, Biophotonics, Brain Imaging, Imaging, Synaptic Plasticity, Transgenic Mice
Multi-Disciplinary Training Area
Disease Mechanisms and Therapeutics (DMT), Neuroscience [NEU]
New topic

Ellis - Davies Laboratory, Optical Methods & Neurophysiology

Light has been used to study cells since their discovery at the end of the 17th century. The development of modern ultrafast lasers and transgenic fluorescent proteins provides the means to monitor (sub)cellular events in vivo. Such microscopy allows us to see into the brain at chosen intervals without disturbing it. Detection is so sensitive we can repeatedly pick out single synapses. Our approach is just like like taking daily (or weekly) photographs of a plant coming into bloom: time-lapse snap-shots enable you to construct a picture of the build up of a complex system step by step, in real time. We are currently applying this method to murine models of Alzheimer's disease, in order to study the causes and consequences of neurodegeneration during disease progression.


A second line of research is the use of light to control cell function. We use organic chemistry to construct photochemically labile molecules (caged compounds) that disgorge their contents upon illumination, so activating a selected biological target. We are privileged to collaborate with several labs around the world that use caged compounds to study cellular function, including Kamran Khodakhah (Einstein), Erst Niggli (Bern), Phil Haydon (Tufts), George Augustine (Duke), Haruo Kasai (Tokyo), Brain MacVicar (Vancouver), Ed Levitan (Pitt), and Dwight Bergles (Hopkins). 

BSc and PhD, University of Reading UK

Physicians and scientists on the faculty of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai often interact with pharmaceutical, device and biotechnology companies to improve patient care, develop new therapies and achieve scientific breakthroughs. In order to promote an ethical and transparent environment for conducting research, providing clinical care and teaching, Mount Sinai requires that salaried faculty inform the School of their relationships with such companies.

Dr. Ellis-Davies did not report having any of the following types of financial relationships with industry during 2022 and/or 2023: consulting, scientific advisory board, industry-sponsored lectures, service on Board of Directors, participation on industry-sponsored committees, equity ownership valued at greater than 5% of a publicly traded company or any value in a privately held company. Please note that this information may differ from information posted on corporate sites due to timing or classification differences.

Mount Sinai's faculty policies relating to faculty collaboration with industry are posted on our website. Patients may wish to ask their physician about the activities they perform for companies.