The long-term goal of our research is to understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie synapse function during behavior in the developing and mature brain, and how synapse function is altered during mental retardation. In this broad research area, we are specifically interested in the molecular underpinnings of activity-dependent regulation of synaptic strength, the role of postsynaptic protein translational regulation in plastic changes of synaptic activity, and the pathophysiology of synapses in autism spectrum disorders (e.g. Fragile X syndrome) that involves changes in postsynaptic protein translation and synaptic strength. Our lab uses a combinatory approach including mouse genetics, stem cell technology, molecular manipulations and biochemical analysis, as well as functional assessment at cellular and circuit levels using both electrophysiological and behavioral readouts.

Awards and Achievements

  • MacArthur Fellowship ( 2005)
  • W. M. Keck Foundation Distinguished Young Scholars in Medical Research ( 2005)