The Children's Research Institute
Masaaki Torii, Ph.D., Laboratory
Specifying neuronal fate
The goal of our research is to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the development of fundamental neural circuits responsible for diverse brain functions and dysfunctions. We are particularly interested in how various neuronal subtypes in the cerebral cortex are assembled into functional cortical columns during development, how these neurons establish specific neuronal connections, and how these processes are disrupted in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism. To address these questions, we utilize a variety of modern techniques and tools including virus- and in utero electroporation-mediated in vivo gene transfer, confocal time-lapse imaging, and mouse models of neurodevelopmental disorders.