Dept.: Neurological Surgery; Investigator, Allen Institute for Brain Science
Neuroscience Focus Groups:
Research: My research interests center on understanding the cellular and local circuit architecture of the human neocortex, and what is unique about the human cortex that gives rise to our unique cognitive capabilities. My laboratory contributes to and builds on large-scale programs at the Allen Institute for Brain Science to systematically analyze developmental and adult transcriptomics, quantitative cellular anatomy and physiological function. These efforts aim to create a comprehensive taxonomy of human cortical cell types and to elucidate the connectivity matrix between cell types that underlies cortical circuit function. These data provide opportunities for computational approaches to understand global features of the transcriptional and cellular landscape of the human cortex and for comparative studies across rodents, primates and humans. Increasingly we are focused on quantitative single cell analysis and the causal relationship between gene expression and the anatomical and functional phenotypes of specific cell types. This work involves development of tools and methodologies specifically tailored to study single cells and cell ensembles in human postmortem and neurosurgically-derived human cortical tissues, including the development of molecular genetic techniques for cell type- and circuit analysis. Particular interests include understanding the development and function of the local human cortical microcircuit, how distinct neuronal subtypes contribute to circuit function, and whether there are unique features about human cortical architecture.