Department of Fundamental Neurosciences, UNIGE, Geneva, Switzerland
Temporal controls over developmental cortical neuron diversity
My research interests are in studying the genetic mechanisms that control cortical neuron circuit assembly during development. Specifically, work in my laboratory is aimed at identifying the gene expression programs that enable distinct subtypes of thalamic and neocortical neurons to assemble into modality-specific circuits, and understanding how sensory experience regulates these differentiation programs during development. The approaches we use to address these questions include in vivo genetic gain-and-loss of function approaches, including in utero electroporation; structural and functional analysis of transgenic mice, and electrophysiology. We have recently demonstrated functionally critical reciprocal interactions between developmental gene expression programs and circuit formation, and trust that in the long term these processes could be used to direct the recruitment of developmental mechanisms to repair abnormal or lesioned circuits.