Molecular mechanisms that control axonal pathfinding during development of the nervous systems
Complex mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, result from a combination of environmental influences and genetic defects. The molecular events underlying the susceptibility to and onset of these disorders are still poorly understood. Nonetheless, evidence is accumulating suggesting that they result from intrinsic defects in early neurodevelopmental processes that become fully manifested at later time in development. Our lab is interested in understanding how the nervous system develops to give rise to a set of cellular connections that allow us to detect signals in our environment and perform complex behaviors. We examine how neurons are born, project axonal processes, and form synaptic connections during neurodevelopment.
Keywords: neurodevelopment, cell differentiation, axon outgrowth, sensory systems, neural crest.