Motivating Questions

Our aim in research is to understand how genetic variation - within and across species - controls the function and organization of brain cells and neural circuits:

• How are neural circuits built from different brain cell types? 

• What molecules and cellular pathways determine synaptic connectivity relationships?

 

• How do viruses interact with host brain cell types? 

We leverage and invent technologies to make systematic, genome-scale molecular measurements within many individual brain cells

We use computational and statistical methods to explore our datasets, gaining inductive insight how the brain might function

We test our hypotheses using anatomy, biochemistry and electrophysiology in cell and animal models

Experimental Approaches

Invent

Explore

Test

We leverage molecular "barcoding" to assign thousands of individual molecules to many thousands of individual cells

We use high-throughput sequencing to capture billions of short and long snippets of DNA/RNA, identifying genes, tracking mutations and counting "barcodes"

We layer additional information on our single-cell datasets - including spatial relationships and protein abundances - by incorporating new genomic technologies

Genomic Technologies

Neurotropic viruses are clinically important brain pathogens and also widely used tools for mapping the cellular structures of neural circuits

We develop single-cell, single-virion "barcoding" technologies to describe:

1) how virus / host cell interactions contribute to properties of infection

What can viruses teach us about  brain cells and circuits?

2) how complex interactions amongst brain cells - such as synaptic relationships - are related to each cells' molecular profile

© 2020 by Arpy Saunders. Created with Wix.com

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