Biochemistry, Biological Engineering, Molecular Biology
Our laboratory is interested in the assembly of brain circuits and the mechanisms by which the activity of neurons in these circuits give rise to behavior. We focus on the process of neuron addition into the vertebrate brain, and seek to understand how new neurons integrate into the circuits of the adult brain, and their role in information processing and storage. To address these questions our laboratory develops new technologies to genetically manipulate the development and biophysical properties of neurons, and to identify their connectivity. To investigate how behavior arises from the activity of neurons in brain circuits, we have developed a new method to produce transgenic songbirds that allows us to manipulate key genes involved in the assembly of circuits that mediate vocal learning behavior.