The research in my laboratory is dedicated to understanding the neural basis of cognitive function and dysfunction. To unravel the molecular, cellular and circuit processes that underlie learning and memory we employ a multidisciplinary approach including the use of transgenic mice, gene deletion 'knockout' mutants, and 'knock in' mutants which carry a specific point mutation, biochemistry, pharmacology, neuroanatomical lesions and detailed behavioral analysis. The guiding rationale behind this work is the finding that long-term memory (LTM) involves structural re-modeling of synaptic connections and consequently, requires gene expression and de novo protein synthesis.
Our lab focuses on the transcription factors that regulate the protein synthesis necessary for LTM formation. The second broad theme of our research examines the pathogenesis of human cognitive disorders. By building on the findings from our basic research theme to the study of cognitive dysfunction in humans, we hope to develop new therapeutic targets and treatment strategies.
My research program examines whether disruptions of intracellular pathways linked to transcription factors may contribute to human cognitive impairments and whether these transcription factors my ultimately serve as therapeutic targets in the treatments of these disorders.