Our primary focus is to understand the mechanisms underlying the mammalian central nervous system development. In particular, we are interested in understanding mechanisms of polarized signaling that regulate the proliferation and placement of neuronal progenitors in the developing cerebral cortex and whether similar cellular processes assist in neurons faithful ability to acquire unique yet often complex polarized morphologies.
To approach these questions, we combine mouse genetics, in uterus embryonic manipulation, and ex vivo preparations (e.g. hippocampal dissociated neuronal culture, organotypic brain slice culture) with various assays including two-photon/confocal laser scanning microscopy imaging. Employing these techniques, we hope to gain better understanding of the mechanism required for the polarized spatial restriction of critical signaling complexes in neural progenitors of the developing cerebral cortex, advancing our knowledge of neural stem cell biology and aiding in the future treatment of neural developmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases.