Current Research Program and Future Directions

The laboratory is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms of neural circuit assembly. We are studying a number of key cell biological questions during the development and maintenance of neural circuits. Although we have traditionally focused on mechanisms of synaptic specificity (topics 1 and 2) and synapse assembly (topic 3), our recent work has also started to shed light on the mechanisms of axonal transport (topics 4 and 5), neuronal cytoskeletal polarity (topic 6), and dendrite branching (topic 7).  

1. Axon guidance cues can pattern synapses by inhibiting synaptogenesis and maintenance. 

2. Cellular and molecular mechanisms of synaptic specificity in vivo.

3. Molecular mechanisms of presynaptic assembly in vivo.

4. Interaction of active zone proteins and synaptic vesicles (SV) dictate the trafficking of SV and the size of synapses.

5. Molecular regulation of the intracellular trafficking of synaptic vesicles.

6. Molecular mechanisms of microtubule polarity in neurons.

7. Molecular mechanisms of dendrite branching and growth.