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Denis Jabaudon

Department of Fundamental Neurosciences, UNIGE, Geneva, Switzerland


Temporal controls over developmental cortical neuron diversity


While the diversity of neurons in the adult mammalian brain is staggering, these cells emerge from a seemingly limited set of progenitors during development. This begs the question of how complexity emerges from a finite number of elements during dynamic biological processes. Here, I will discuss recent work from my laboratory addressing relationships between genetic diversity and connectivity in single-cell types, and how progenitor diversity may constrain adult brain cellular states during normal and abnormal brain development.


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.