Logo for University of Iowa Health Care This logo represents the University of Iowa Health Care

Samuel M. Young, PhD

Director of Molecular Auditory Research
Associate Professor of Anatomy and Cell Biology
Associate Professor of Otolaryngology

Contact Information

Primary Office
5322 PBDB
169 Newton Road
Iowa City, Iowa 52242


AB, Molecular Biology, Princeton University
PhD, Genetics and Molecular Biology, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill

Research Summary

My laboratory is focused on the fundamental question– “How do synapses enable neuronal circuits to transmit a wide diversity of information?” Outcomes from our work will define the molecular principles that govern how synaptic properties drive neuronal circuit output which underpins organism behavior. These molecular principles uncovered may reveal the underlying causes of neuronal circuit dysregulation which results in neuropsychiatric or neurodegenerative diseases and have the potential to give rise to new therapeutic treatments.


Lubbert, M., Goral, R. O., Keine, C., Thomas, C., Guerrero-Given, D., Putzke, T., Satterfield, R., Kamasawa, N. & Young, S. M. (2019). CaV2.1 a1 Subunit Expression Regulates Presynaptic CaV2.1 Abundance and Synaptic Strength at a Central Synapse. Neuron, 101(2), 260-273.e6. PMID: 30545599.

Ostrovskaya, O. I., Orlandi, C., Fajardo-Serrano, A., Young, Jr., S. M., Lujan, R. & Martemyanov, K. A. (2018). Inhibitory Signaling to Ion Channels in Hippocampal Neurons Is Differentially Regulated by Alternative Macromolecular Complexes of RGS7. J Neurosci, 38(46), 10002-10015. PMID: 30315127.

Durán, E., Montes, M. Á., Jemal, I., Satterfield, R., Young, Jr., S. M. & Álvarez de Toledo, G. (2018). Synaptotagmin-7 controls the size of the reserve and resting pools of synaptic vesicles in hippocampal neurons. Cell Calcium, 74, 53-60. PMID: 29957297.

Thomas, C. I., Kamasawa, N., Okayama, S., Keine, C., Satterfield, R., Guerrero-Given, D. & Young, Jr., S. M. (2018). Light and Dark: Fluorescent and Electron Dense Labeling for Neuronal Cells Using a Novel Viral Vector. (Vols. 24). (S1), pp. 1352-1353. Microscopy and Microanalysis. DOI: 10.1017/S1431927618007249.

Dong, W., Radulovic, T., Goral, R. O., Thomas, C., Montesinos, S. M., Guerrero-Given, D., Hagiwara, A., Putzke, T., Hida, Y., Abe, M., Sakimura, K., Kamasawa, N., Ohtsuka, T. & Young, Jr., S. M. (2018). CAST/ELKS Proteins Control Voltage-Gated Ca(2+) Channel Density and Synaptic Release Probability at a Mammalian Central Synapse. Cell Rep, 24(2), 284-293. PMID: 29996090.

Sutton, L. P., Orlandi, C., Song, C., Oh, W. C., Muntean, B. S., Xie, K., Filippini, A., Xie, X., Satterfield, R., Yaeger, J. D., Renner, K. J., Young, Jr, S. M., Xu, B., Kwon, H. & Martemyanov, K. A. (2018). Orphan receptor GPR158 controls stress-induced depression. eLife, 7, e33273. PMID: 29419376.

Chen, C., Satterfield, R., Young, Jr, S. M. & Jonas, P. (2017). Triple Function of Synaptotagmin 7 Ensures Efficiency of High-Frequency Transmission at Central GABAergic Synapses. Cell Reports, 21(8), 2082-2089. PMID: 29166601.

Lübbert, M., Goral, R. O., Satterfield, R., Putzke, T., van den Maagdenberg, A. M., Kamasawa, N. & Young, Jr., S. M. (2017). A novel region in the CaV2.1 a1 subunit C-terminus regulates fast synaptic vesicle fusion and vesicle docking at the mammalian presynaptic active zone. Biophysics and Structural Biology, NeuroscienceeLife Sciences Publications, Ltd, e28412. PMID: 28786379.

KAMASAWA, N., THOMAS, C. I., OKAYAMA, S., KEINE, C., SATTERFIELD, R., GUERRERO-GIVEN, D. & YOUNG, Jr., S. M. (2017). Establishment of volumetric methods for gross and fine scale presynaptic morphological analysis in electron microscopy. 47th Annual Society for Neuroscience Meeting.

Montesinos, M. S., Dong, W., Goff, K., Das, B., Guerrero-Given, D., Schmalzigaug, R., Premont, R. T., Satterfield, R., Kamasawa, N. & Young, Jr, S. M. (2015). Presynaptic Deletion of GIT Proteins Results in Increased Synaptic Strength at a Mammalian Central Synapse. Neuron, 88(5), 918-925. PMID: 26637799.

Chen, Z., Das, B., Nakamura, Y., DiGregorio, D. A. & Young, Jr, S. M. (2015). Ca2+ channel to synaptic vesicle distance accounts for the readily releasable pool kinetics at a functionally mature auditory synapse. The Journal of Neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 35(5), 2083-2100. PMID: 25653365.

Maltecca, F., Baseggio, E., Consolato, F., Mazza, D., Podini, P., Young, Jr, S. M., Drago, I., Bahr, B. A., Puliti, A., Codazzi, F., Quattrini, A. & Casari, G. (2015). Purkinje neuron Ca2+ influx reduction rescues ataxia in SCA28 model. The Journal of Clinical Investigation, 125(1), 263-274. PMID: 25485680.

Tong, H., Kopp-Scheinpflug, C., Pilati, N., Robinson, S. W., Sinclair, J. L., Steinert, J. R., Barnes-Davies, M., Allfree, R., Grubb, B. D., Young, Jr, S. M. & Forsythe, I. D. (2013). Protection from noise-induced hearing loss by Kv2.2 potassium currents in the central medial olivocochlear system. The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(21), 9113-9121. PMID: 23699522.

Chen, Z., Cooper, B., Kalla, S., Varoqueaux, F. & Young, Jr, S. M. (2013). The Munc13 proteins differentially regulate readily releasable pool dynamics and calcium-dependent recovery at a central synapse. The Journal of Neuroscience : The Official jJournal of the Society for Neuroscience, 33(19), 8336-8351. PMID: 23658173.

Montesinos, M. S., Chen, Z. & Young, Jr, S. M. (2011). pUNISHER: a high-level expression cassette for use with recombinant viral vectors for rapid and long term in vivo neuronal expression in the CNS. Journal of Neurophysiology, 106(6), 3230-3244. PMID: 21957229.

Dusonchet, J., Kochubey, O., Stafa, K., Young, Jr, S. M., Zufferey, R., Moore, D. J., Schneider, B. L. & Aebischer, P. (2011). A rat model of progressive nigral neurodegeneration induced by the Parkinson's disease-associated G2019S mutation in LRRK2. The Journal of Neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 31(3), 907-912. PMID: 21248115.

Kawabe, H., Neeb, A., Dimova, K., Young, Jr, S. M., Takeda, M., Katsurabayashi, S., Mitkovski, M., Malakhova, O. A., Zhang, D. E., Umikawa, M., Kariya, K., Goebbels, S., Nave, K. A., Rosenmund, C., Jahn, O., Rhee, J. & Brose, N. (2010). Regulation of Rap2A by the ubiquitin ligase Nedd4-1 controls neurite development. Neuron, 65(3), 358-372. PMID: 20159449.

Young, Jr, S. M., Neher, E. (2009). Synaptotagmin has an essential function in synaptic vesicle positioning for synchronous release in addition to its role as a calcium sensor. Neuron, 63(4), 482-496. PMID: 19709630.

Schikorski, T., Young, Jr, S. M. & Hu, Y. (2007). Horseradish peroxidase cDNA as a marker for electron microscopy in neurons. Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 165(2), 210-215. PMID: 17631969.

Young, Jr, S. M. (2005). Proteolysis of SNARE proteins alters facilitation and depression in a specific way. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 102(7), 2614-2619. PMID: 15695333.

McCarty, D. M., Young, Jr, S. M. & Samulski, R. J. (2004). Integration of adeno-associated virus (AAV) and recombinant AAV vectors. Annual Review of Genetics, 38, 819-845. PMID: 15568995.

Weitzman, M. D., Young, Jr, S. M., Cathomen, T. & Samulski, R. J. (2003). Targeted integration by adeno-associated virus. Methods in molecular medicine, 76, 201-219. PMID: 12526165.

Young, Jr, S. M., Samulski, R. J. (2001). Adeno-associated virus (AAV) site-specific recombination does not require a Rep-dependent origin of replication within the AAV terminal repeat. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 98(24), 13525-13530. PMID: 11707592.

Young, Jr, S. M., Xiao, W. & Samulski, R. J. (2000). Site-specific targeting of DNA plasmids to chromosome 19 using AAV cis and trans sequences. Methods in molecular biology (), 133, 111-126. PMID: 10561835.

Gavin, D. K., Young, Jr, S. M., Xiao, W., Temple, B., Abernathy, C. R., Pereira, D. J., Muzyczka, N. & Samulski, R. J. (1999). Charge-to-alanine mutagenesis of the adeno-associated virus type 2 Rep78/68 proteins yields temperature-sensitive and magnesium-dependent variants. Journal of virology, 73(11), 9433-9445. PMID: 10516052.