Our goal is to understand how neurons and neuronal circuits generate and maintain normal function.
We use a variety of tools and approaches to study the biology and function of neurons and circuits in vivo, including genomics, sub-cellular imaging, single-neuron laser surgery and optogenetics. Because C. elegans is transparent and has a simple nervous system, we can manipulate and observe individual neurons in intact, living animals.
We are interested in discovering how neurons choose their fate; how neurons and neural circuits respond to injury, disease, and age; and how molecular mechanisms such as RNA processing, mitochondria traffic, and intracellular signaling affect neuronal function. One major focus is axon regeneration. A new project (CeNGEN) seeks to generate and analyze an ultra-high density map of neuronal gene expression.