Our goals address the evolution, embryology, ethology, and neurophysiology of cranial motor systems in vertebrates. The comparative anatomy and physiology of the visual, vestibular, and oculomotor systems are major fields of interests with experimental emphasis largely directed towards brainstem and cerebellar circuitry underlying eye and head movement. Current research projects center on establishing the intrinsic properties of vestibular, reticular, and cerebellar neurons both in vitro and in vivo with special emphasis on their role in oculomotor performance and motor learning. We use various single-cell microelectrode techniques to correlate excitatory and inhibitory synaptic responses with motor behavior. In complementary work, we address the ontogenetic assembly of cranial sensorimotor systems with contemporary chemical, molecular, and anatomical probes. We are also studying neuroepithelial and mesodermal cell lineage, fate, and tissue development in shark, zebrafish, bird, and mouse embryos. We investigate when and how eye muscles, motoneurons, and vestibular neurons become spatially programmed and functionally specified to produce eye movements. Overall, these experiments are designed to define the processes that coordinate development of sensory/motor networks to provide new insights into genetic blueprints, neuronal specification, and the role of hindbrain segmentation.
Research Professor, Department of Neuroscience and Physiology
PhD from University of Illinois
Current neurobiology. 2016; 7(1):19-20
Current neurobiology. 2016; 7(2):62-73
Journal of comparative neurology. 2014 Jul 01; 522(10):2446-2464
Nature communications. 2014 Jun 25; 5:4221-4221
Frontiers in neural circuits. 2013 NOV 19; 7:?-?
Current biology. CB. 2012 Jul 24; 22(14):1285-1295
Journal of comparative neurology. 2012 Jul 01; 520(10):2218-2240
Journal of neurophysiology. 2012 Jun; 107(12):3528-3542