Our research

How is the brain assembled during embryonic development? 

Addressing this question has enormous implications for understanding the basis for neurodevelopmental disorders affecting brain size and function, such as microcephaly, intellectual disability, and autism. Towards this, our lab investigates genetic and cell biological mechanisms underlying cerebral cortex development, disease and evolution.  We study how neural progenitors generate neurons; Our major focus is towards understanding RNA regulatory layers which control both cell fate and cell signaling in radial glial progenitors.

Our toolset: We use mouse genetics and human derived pluripotent stem cells, live imaging (of brain slices and neural progenitors), and functional genomics.

Read some of our recent publications in Development, Current Biology, Neuron, PLoS Genetics. Our research has been featured in several outlets including Science, the Simons Foundation, and on NPR!

RNA regulation and microcephaly

RNA localization and local translation

Human Brain EvolutionOur research has been generously 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, The DDX3X Foundation
  • Additionally, our lab members have won fellowships from: NINDS, NSF, AHA, Duke Regeneration Next, The Ruth K. Broad Foundation