• Using chemogenetic models, microglia depletion, and pharmacology, this paper revealed a previously unknown role for microglia, providing negative feedback to active neurons to curb their hyper excitability.

    A. Badimon, H. J. Strasburger, P. Ayata, X. Chen, A. Nair, A. Ikegami, P. Hwang, A. T. Chan, S. M. Graves, J. O. Uweru, C. Ledderose, M. G. Kutlu, M. A. Wheeler, A. Kahan, M. Ishikawa, Y.-C. Wang, Y.-H. E. Loh, J. X. Jiang, D. J. Surmeier, S. C. Robson, et al. Negative Feedback Control of Neuronal Activity by Microglia. Nature, 2020, 586 (7829), 417–423. DOI:

  • This paper introduced a novel chemogenetic mouse model that for the first time revealed the temporal and cell type-specific requirement of protein synthesis for memory consolidation.

    P. Shrestha, P. Ayata*, P. Herrero-Vidal, F. Longo, A. Gastone, J. E. LeDoux, N. Heintz, E. Klann. Cell-Type-Specific Drug-Inducible Protein Synthesis Inhibition Demonstrates That Memory Consolidation Requires Rapid Neuronal Translation. Nat Neurosci, 2020, 23 (2), 281–292. DOI: (* co-first author)

  • This study revealed answers to the existence, regulation, and biological significance of microglia regional specification. It introduced significant methodological advancement in the field allowing bona fide microglial molecular signature profiling.

    P. Ayata, A. Badimon, H. J. Strasburger, M. K. Duff, S. E. Montgomery, Y.-H. E. Loh, A. Ebert, A. A. Pimenova, B. R. Ramirez, A. T. Chan, J. M. Sullivan, I. Purushothaman, J. R. Scarpa, A. M. Goate, M. Busslinger, L. Shen, B. Losic, A. Schaefer. Epigenetic Regulation of Brain Region-Specific Microglia Clearance Activity. Nat Neurosci, 2018, 21 (8), 1049–1060. DOI:

  • This paper introduced 5hmC as a stable activation mark and supported a novel epigenetic model by 5hmC-MeCP2 interaction and a new perspective on Rett syndrome pathology.

    M. Mellén, P. Ayata*, S. Dewell, S. Kriaucionis, N. Heintz. MeCP2 Binds to 5hmC Enriched within Active Genes and Accessible Chromatin in the Nervous System. Cell, 2012, 151 (7), 1417–1430. DOI: (* co-first author)