The cellular diversity of the human brain is immense, which is generated through evolutionarily conserved developmental mechanisms. The system is robust enough to create functional masterpiece; yet is susceptible to failure that may lead to cognitive dysfunction
We study the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the functional diversity of the adult reward system, cell fate choices leading to its development and how these are affected in autism spectrum disorder. For this, we use state-of-the art single cell RNA/epigenome sequencing techniques, CRISPR-mediated gene inactivation, mouse genetics, bioengineered organoids and computational tools to run multidisciplinary, collaborative projects
Ongoing research can be described in three questions:
- What are the molecular/epigenetic mechanisms underlying the functional diversity in the adult reward system?
- What are the developmental mechanisms leading to this cellular diversity?
- How are these pathways altered in autism spectrum disorder?