robust development of neural circuits


To support neural circuit function, each neuron needs to establish useful synaptic connections with other cells.  What strategies do neurons use to guide synaptic connectivity?  How do these strategies shape the landscape of neurodevelopmental disease?  And how do these strategies constrain and facilitate brain evolution?

ongoing projects


dendrite topography & synaptic targeting

Neurons extend membrane processes called dendrites, specialized for receiving synaptic inputs. Does dendrite topography predict functional topography? Does dendrite position guide synaptic targeting?


brain-wide respiratory networks

Breathing behaviors are critical for survival, and are generated by neurons in the hindbrain and spinal cord. Where are respiratory circuit components located? Which of these synapse directly onto facial motor neurons?

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respiratory motor circuit development

During early development, larval breathing behaviors change, as muscles and respiratory networks mature. Which respiratory circuit components arise first? Do synaptic contacts with motor neurons re-configure over time?