Establishment and maintenance of neuronal diversity
Our lab is interested in understanding how neuronal diversity is established and maintained. We also aim to explore if this processes are linked to genetic association to mental disorders.
We focus on terminal differentiation: which are the regulatory mechanisms that control the expression of the genes that are responsible for the functionality of a given neuron?
Currently we are studying two clinically relevant neuronal populations: dopaminergic and serotonergic neurons.
Using C.elegans we study the regulatory regions of the dopaminergic and serotonergic terminal features and try to identify the transcription factors that activate their expression. We also combine these studies with mouse genetics to explore the possibility of phylogenetic conservation. Finally, we have recently started to apply our knowledge to drive specific cell type differentiation from mouse embryonic stem cells.
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