Laboratory of Brain Circuits Therapeutics
Our lab harnesses the power of synthetic biology to understand cognitive processes, motor behavior and disease mechanisms. We are developing an "integrated systems approach" to investigate the role of key players of brain circuits (neurons and glial types) and the extracellular matrix (ECM), especially the perineuronal net. These components are crucial for inter- and extracellular communication and the organization of the "composite" synaptic matrix, that is distributed and interconnected throughout the brain. Major technological advances have been made by our lab for functional mapping of microcircuits and manipulation of brain-wide circuits. More recently, we are developing new technologies for full brain "integrated" and "real-time" activity mapping by magnetic resonance imaging. We are also developing and applying genetic, protein-, lipid- and programmed cellular-based therapeutic strategies to selectively target pathological brain circuits for protection and treatment of neurological and psychiatric diseases in animal models, with potential to treat human diseases in the future.
Cell type specific inducible gene deletion, inducible gene expression systems, two-photon calcium imaging, confocal microscopy, bioluminescence imaging, opto- and pharmacogenetics, synapse labeling, circuit mapping, and different behavioral paradigms, genetic MRI for full brain scale activity mapping.