The primary goal of our laboratory’s research is to determine the molecular pathways that direct the differentiation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NPCs) and the assembly of neural circuits, particularly those that control motor functions such as locomotion and breathing. To achieve this goal, we focus on identifying the growth factor signals, transcriptional networks, and downstream effectors that control the formation of neurons and glial cells in the spinal cord and brain. Insights into these fundamental mechanisms are essential for determining the function of NPCs in both normal development and diseased states, and for developing new methods to manipulate NPCs to facilitate the repair of damaged neural tissues.



Molecular Mechanisms of Neural Fate Specification

How are neural progenitors cells programmed to adopt particular cell fates?

Regulation of Neural Stem and Progenitor Cell Maintenance and Differentiation

What determines the size, shape, and complexity of the nervous system?

Mechanisms of Neural Circuit Assembly

How are functional neural circuits constructed?

Stem Cell-Based Modeling of Human Development and Disease

Can we harness our knowledge of developmental mechanisms to understand human specific features and disease pathologies?