- Neurology (School of Medicine)
- Center for Neuroscience
Our lab develops molecular and optical approaches to study the function and organization of individual neurons within the brain. Neural circuits can be described by their wiring (inputs/outputs), function (spiking activity), and molecular makeup (gene expression and protein localization). Each of these components is critical for enabling the brain to function as a regulator of behavior. While emerging technologies have allowed us to interrogate these components individually at great depth, a major challenge remains to bridge all three types of information on a cellular level. Using synthetic biology, two-photon microscopy, and animal behavior, we aim to deconstruct the building blocks of the neural circuits required to direct animal behavior. We are particularly interested in how long-range prefrontal cortex projection neurons form synapses with distinct cell-types in deep brain nuclei to govern motivated behaviors.
Accepting students per funding availability.
- Functional and biochemical mapping of neural circuits regulating motivation