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overview development behavior degeneration circuits

Overview

Our laboratory is focused on two questions, namely, how do complex neuronal circuits assemble during development and disassemble in disease and how do such circuits mediate the complex computations essential to behavior? By examining the interplay between these questions, we hope to uncover fundamental new insights into the molecular mechanisms and functional consequences of neurodegenerative disease. My lab has developed a new model by which interactions among developing neurons determine the wiring diagram of the brain, and we have defined the structure of one of the fundamental computational units of the visual system, a circuit that measures the movement of objects across your eye. More recent work has uncovered a new molecular mechanism by which genes associated with Parkinson's Disease are linked to the loss of connections between neurons. Our hope is that these latter results will inspire new therapeutic approaches to this disorder.