Our research

How is the brain assembled and sculpted during embryonic development? 

Addressing this question has enormous implications for understanding neurodevelopmental disorders affecting brain size and function. Our lab investigates genetic and cellular mechanisms controlling cerebral cortex development, and contributing to neurodevelopmental pathologies and brain evolution. We study neural progenitors, essential cells which generate neurons and glia of the developing brain. We are especially interested in diverse layers by which RNA regulation shapes cell fate decisions during development.

We use live imaging of brain slices and neural progenitors, mouse genetics, and functional genomics. Read some of our recent publications in Current Biology, Neuron, PLoS Genetics. Our research has been featured in several outlets including Science, the Simons Foundation, and in an interview with Debby on NPR!

RNA regulation and microcephaly

RNA localization and local translation

Human Brain EvolutionOur research is/has been supported by:

  • NINDS, NIMH, The Hartwell Foundation, The Brain Research Foundation, The Ruth K. Broad Foundation, Generous funding from the Kahns and Holland-Trices, The Duke Institute for Brain Sciences
  • Lab members have won fellowships from: NINDS, NSF, AHA, Duke Regeneration Next