The main objective of our lab is to identify and investigate novel molecular bases of cellular recognition that control circuit assembly during human development and disease.
Developing neurons integrate into functional circuits through a series of cell recognition events, which include neuronal sorting, axon and dendrite patterning, synaptic selection, among others. Our research focuses on cell-surface recognition molecules that mediate interactions between neurons to discriminate and select appropriate targets in the developing brain. Additionally, we seek to uncover novel mechanisms of neural recognition that lead to brain connectivity defects in humans, including autism spectrum disorders, epilepsy, and schizophrenia.
Identifying fundamental principles of cellular recognition in wiring circuits contributes to our understanding of neurological disorders and how neuronal dysfunction arises from aberrations during development of the human brain.