Robert Renden

Assistant Professor
Headshot of Robert Renden


Following Ph.D work studying synaptic transmission at the Drosophila NMJ, Dr. Renden switched to a mammalian brain slice preparation, investigating synaptic transmission and synaptic vesicles recycling at a model glutamatergic synapse, the Calyx of Held, at the Vollum Institute in Portland, OR.

Dr. Renden was awarded Fellowships from the Human Frontiers Science Program, as well as the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, to continue his studies at the calyx of Held in Heidelberg Germany.

He then was recruited to a pharmaceutical company in Belgium, to research drug targets for neurological disease.

In 2011, Dr. Renden relocated to Reno, NV and now is an Assistant Professor in the Physiology and Cell Biology Department.


Research interests

  • Calyx of Held
  • Drosophila NMJ Electrophysiology
  • Glutamate Receptors
  • Microscopy
  • Confocal Imaging
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Synaptic Vesicle Recycling

Selected publications


  • Vasileva M, Renden R, Horstmann H, Gitler D, Kuner T. Overexpression of synapsin Ia in the rat calyx of Held accelerates short-term plasticity and decreases synaptic vesicle volume and active zone area. Front Cell Neurosci. 2013 Dec 20;7:270. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2013.00270. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID:
    24391547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3868894.
  • Kim JH, Renden R, von Gersdorff H. Dysmyelination of auditory afferent axons increases the jitter of action potential timing during high-frequency firing. J Neurosci. 2013 May 29;33(22):9402-7. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3389-12.2013. PubMed PMID: 23719808; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3719047.
  • Smith SM, Renden R, von Gersdorff H. Synaptic vesicle endocytosis: fast and slow modes of membrane retrieval. Trends Neurosci. 2008 Nov;31(11):559-68. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2008.08.005. Epub 2008 Sep 24. Review. PubMed PMID: 18817990; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3626563.
  • Renden R, von Gersdorff H. Synaptic vesicle endocytosis at a CNS nerve terminal: faster kinetics at physiological temperatures and increased endocytotic capacity during maturation. J Neurophysiol. 2007 Dec;98(6):3349-59. Epub 2007 Oct 17. PubMed PMID: 17942618.
  • Kushmerick C, Renden R, von Gersdorff H. Physiological temperatures reduce the rate of vesicle pool depletion and short-term depression via an acceleration of vesicle recruitment. J Neurosci. 2006 Feb 1;26(5):1366-77. PubMed PMID: 16452660.
  • Renden R, Taschenberger H, Puente N, Rusakov DA, Duvoisin R, Wang LY, Lehre KP, von Gersdorff H. Glutamate transporter studies reveal the pruning of metabotropic glutamate receptors and absence of AMPA receptor desensitization at mature calyx of held synapses. J Neurosci. 2005 Sep 14;25(37):8482-97. PubMed PMID: 16162930; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3375655.
  • Leão RM, Kushmerick C, Pinaud R, Renden R, Li GL, Taschenberger H, Spirou G, Levinson SR, von Gersdorff H. Presynaptic Na+ channels: locus, development, and recovery from inactivation at a high-fidelity synapse. J Neurosci. 2005 Apr 6;25(14):3724-38. PubMed PMID: 15814803.
  • Kushmerick C, Price GD, Taschenberger H, Puente N, Renden R, Wadiche JI, Duvoisin RM, Grandes P, von Gersdorff H. Retroinhibition of presynaptic Ca2+ currents by endocannabinoids released via postsynaptic mGluR activation at a calyx synapse. J Neurosci. 2004 Jun 30;24(26):5955-65. PubMed PMID: 15229243.
  • Renden RB, Broadie K. Mutation and activation of Galpha s similarly alters pre- and postsynaptic mechanisms modulating neurotransmission. J Neurophysiol. 2003 May;89(5):2620-38. Epub 2003 Jan 22. PubMed PMID: 12611964.
  • Renden R, Berwin B, Davis W, Ann K, Chin CT, Kreber R, Ganetzky B, Martin TF, Broadie K. Drosophila CAPS is an essential gene that regulates dense-core vesicle release and synaptic vesicle fusion. Neuron. 2001 Aug 16;31(3):421-37. PubMed
    PMID: 11516399.