Our lab has a strong interest in neurodevelopmental disorders: Our long-term goal is to use multiple approaches including molecular biology and system neuroscience to study how specific gene mutation leads to various defects in neurodevelopmental disorders.
Neuronal circuits in our brain are known to be plastic and are subject to experience-driven changes causing neurons to modify their functional connectivity and responses. Plasticity refers to the ability of the neuron to reorganize its synaptic connections and functions in response to alterations in sensory experience or learning. However, the synaptic mechanisms underlying such plasticity have yet to be resolved.
In Vivo Imaging
With recent advances in cutting-edge techniques in molecular genetics, optogenetics, chemogenetics and high resolution two-photon imaging in vivo, it is now possible to study functional properties and structural changes at the level of dendritic spines in vivo. The overarching goal of my research program is to reveal roles of synaptic plasticity in vivo in health and disease.
Modeling Neurodevelopmental Disorders with iPSC
Technological advances made in induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and three-dimensional organoids over the past decade has paved the way for us to model neurodevelopmental disorders in an in vitro human model. Our laboratory has implemented iPSC and iPSC-derived models to study molecular mechanisms and the pathogenesis of neurodevelopmental disorders, thereby, allowing us to explore potential therapeutic strategies.