School of Medicine
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Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Neurobiology
Bio I am fascinated by how a limited number of genes is capable of specifying a multitude of different circuits, each transforming different sets of stimuli into behavioral outputs both specifically and reproducibly, necessary for the organism’s survival. Axons must find their targets in a vast sea of dendrites. Synaptic activity from multiple neurons must coordinate in time to achieve target excitation. Individual components of each circuit must achieve specific membrane properties in order to properly transmit signals. These principles are underscored in insect systems where both the structure and functionality of nervous system are almost entirely genetically determined. Understanding how complex neural circuits are established will lead to insight into both the computational algorithms employed by the nervous system and mechanisms behind heritable neurodevelopmental disorders. Although previously hindered by technical limitations, recent advances in RNA sequencing and genome editing have allowed these topics be investigated on a cellular level. By pursuing this fundamental question of neuroscience using insect models, I hope to increase our understanding of nervous systems in general, including that of the most complex system known to mankind, the human brain.