INVESTIGATING GENES AND MOLECULES UNDERLYING THE DEVELOPMENT AND FUNCTION OF THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
How do cell proliferation and migration, neuron and glia differentiation, cell survival and apoptosis shape brain development? How do diverse populations of neural cells communicate among themselves, and with blood vessels and the surrounding meninges? How do functional circuits tune complex brain signals under physiological and pathophysiological stimuli? These and other processes depend on the expression of specific genes and molecules, and rely on interconnected networks of molecular signaling pathways.
Researchers in the Development, Evolution and Cell Signaling and Cognitive and Network Neuroscience departments bring together their complementary expertise to understand how the expression of these genes and molecules intervenes in space and time to generate adaptive responses in neural tissues in various species. To this end, they use sophisticated genetic, molecular, biochemical, pharmacological and cellular tools.
These scientists also explore molecular crosstalk between neural cells. They study how these interactions are affected in pathophysiological conditions such as obesity, cognitive decline, infection, degenerative diseases and developmental disorders. They dissect genetic and epigenetic regulation pathways, including microRNA, and investigate how proteins such as membrane receptors, enzymes or transcription factors can be targeted for potential therapeutic applications.