My lab studies the assembly, function, and evolution of circuits. Specifically, we focus on sensorimotor circuits, such as those in the spinal cord. These circuits process a variety of stimuli such as heat, light touch, pain, and self-movement. These circuits generate patterned muscle contractions underly animal movement.
Movement control- My lab is interested in understanding how neural circuits implement the motor programs that allow animals to move. Our goal is to understand the functional architecture of a sensorimotor system at the cellular level.
Circuit assembly- We are interested in understanding how circuits self-assemble starting from a small number of stem cells. This should generate developmental insight relevant to stem cell reprogramming that could be used to replace diseased/damaged neural tissue.
Evolution of circuits- We are interested in how sensorimotor circuits change over evolutionary time scales to allow animals to control different body forms and behaviors.