Brain Development and Neurogenesis Underlying Brain Evolution and Mental Illness
Our brain is the center that controls a vast array of nervous and mental functions, from sensory perception and motor control to learning and memory. A key question is: How is the brain formed during embryonic and postnatal development? Elucidation of the molecular mechanism for mammalian brain development is also key to understanding brain evolution and the cause of neurodevelopmental diseases such as autism. Our laboratory is focused on this fundamental and fascinating question, and uses state-of-the-art technologies such as genome editing, next generation sequencing, and super-resolution imaging. Our studies involve both mice and rats because they are easy to handle in the laboratory, and are suitable as disease models.
Ongoing projects in the laboratory include 1) elucidation of the mRNA transport machineries that exist within neural stem/progenitor cells during corticogenesis, 2) understanding the effects of epigenetic modification that occur as a result of sperm aging on brain development and subsequent behavioral traits inherited by offspring, and 3) examining the roles of functional fatty acids in the proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells and glial cells.
Our laboratory is participating in the Neuro Global Graduate Program, and is ideally suited for students and young researchers who wish to be trained and raised in an international atmosphere with foreign students from all over the world.