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To date there exists a schism between the bottom up approach of developmental neuroscientists and the top down approach of system neuroscientists and clinicians. Our aim is to bridge this gap.

My laboratory is focused on understanding the developmental origins of cortical interneurons.  We are broadly interested in both the developmental genetic determinants that specify cortical interneuron subclasses and the rules by which specific subclasses integrate into the developing cerebral cortex. While we have been successful in determining the requirement for specific genes in the specification of neural populations, the inevitable perinatal lethality caused by their loss has precluded understanding their role in creating functional neural circuits. Our present focus is on 1) using conditional gain and loss of function approaches to study the contribution of specific genes to cortical interneuron diversity and 2) the development of genetic tools to study cortical microcircuitry.  Beyond this we wish to determine whether we can direct neural stem cells to particular cortical interneuronal identities and whether cells engineered in this manner can be used in the repair or rebuilding of neural circuitry.