Our research centers on understanding the molecular and cellular basis of how neurons acquire distinct identities and form proper synaptic connections in the cerebral cortex, a part of the brain that is critical for cognition, perception and behavior. We also study how these complex developmental processes have evolved and become compromised in human disorders, such as autism. An important element of our research is the integration of complementary approaches that combines 1) analyses of evolutionarily conserved developmental mechanisms using the genetically tractable mouse model, 2) comparative genomic and cellular analyses of non-human primates and humans to identify human-specific features of brain development, and 3) genetic and molecular analyses of human neurodevelopmental disorders.
The James S. McDonnell Foundation
Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
Overlook International Foundation