The elation of a childhood playdate, the richness of air just after a summer rain, and the sound of leaves rustling in the wind… Name the most beautiful memories that come to your mind. All were made possible by the complex yet fascinating process of hippocampal development. With advancing genetic tools, we can now ask and test hypotheses for more questions about this process than ever. The goal of our study is to understand the functions of critical genes in succeeding in this process.
This image shows the hippocampus Dentate Gyrus in a developing mouse brain. Here, it is at a particular stage in its development, where some of these cells (shown in red in granule cell layer), have just committed to their developmental journey as newly born granule cells, while others are at their last maturation stage (shown in green). These cells are going through constant modifications to prepare this young mind for a unique, and distinctly sensational new world. This image allows us to visualize the exact cell types and developmental stage we are targeting. I study the contribution of one gene to this enchanting process and hope to contribute a small piece to this mysterious puzzle.