How do developing cells turn into neurons, and how do these neurons form the highly organised and specific connections which enable complex behaviour? I am interested in answering these fundamental questions in neuroscience, and am investigating in the context of the mammalian sensory-motor system, specifically in proprioceptive neurons.
These proprioceptive neurons are the gatekeepers of sensory information about muscle force and tension essential for fine motor control. I am probing their development using a variety of cutting edge techniques to finally crack the question of how these neurons attain their their mature phenotype and connect specifically to a single muscle and its innervating motor neuron.
These techniques include:
- Single cell transcriptomics
- Rabies virus mediated tracing of neuronal pathways
- Genetical labelling of developmental cell lines