Michael L Schwartz PhD

Associate Professor of Neurobiology; Director, Medical Studies in Neurobiology; Associate Dean for Curriculum, YMS

Research Interests

Mammalian cerebral cortex

Research Summary

The research in my laboratory is concerned with the organization and development of the mammalian cerebral cortex, the influence of prenatal and neonatal experiences on the final organization of these regions and the impact on behavioral function. Studies in non-human primates focus on the organization and synaptic features of cortical areas in developing and mature monkeys, with particular emphasis on cortico-cortical, cortical-thalamic, and local circuit neurons. Studies in mice focus on the impact of perinatal hypoxia on brain development, behavioral maturation and mechanisms of recovery using a variety of wild type, knockout and overexpressing mouse models.

Studies currently in progress in the laboratory include:

  1. Examination of the expression of neurotransmitter substances in the cerebral cortex of fetal and postnatal monkeys;
  2. Analysis of the role of GABA and FGF on neuronal proliferation and transmitter phenotype;
  3. The impact of prenatal ultrasound exposure on brain development and behavioral function in non-human primates and mice;
  4. The impact of hypoxia on the emergence of cortical connectivity and behavioral function.

The studies in the lab utilize a variety of techniques including fetal and adult neurosurgery, light (LM) and electron microscopy (EM), immunocytochemistry, tract tracing methods, and behavioral analysis techniques.

Selected Publications

  • Chahboune H, Ment LR, Stewart WB, Rothman DL, Vaccarino FM, Hyder F, Schwartz ML. 2009. Hypoxic injury during neonatal development in murine brain: correlation between in vivo DTI findings and behavioral assessment. Cereb Cortex. 2009 Dec;19(12):2891-2901. PMID:19380380
  • Vaccarino, F.M., et al. (2007). Astroglial cells in development, regeneration, and repair. Neuroscientist 13(2):173-85.
  • Andrews, Z.B., et al. (2006). Uncoupling protein-2 promotes nigrostriatal dopamine neuronal function. Eur. J. Neurosci. 24(1):32-6.
  • Schwartz, M.L. and D.L. Meinecke (1992) Early expression and distribution of GABA-containing neurons in the prefrontal and visual cortices of fetal and neonatal monkeys. Cerebral Cortex 2: 16-37.
  • Schwartz, M.L. and L. Mrzljak (1993) Cholinergic innervation of the mediodorsal nucleus in the monkey: ultrastructural evidence supportive of functional diversity. J. Comp. Neurol. 327:48-62.
  • Schwartz, M.L., P. Rakic, and P.S. Goldman-Rakic (1991) Early phenotypic expression of cortical neurons: Evidence that a subclass of migrating neurons have callosal axons. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 88:1354-1358.

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