We are interested in identifying the molecular controls over the generation of topographic neuronal maps in the brain during development and their plasticity after injury. In the neocortex, neurons that process peripheral input are located in specialized areas such as the somatosensory cortex and the visual cortex, within which they distribute and connect topographically; in the somatosensory cortex, this topography effectively generates a sensory map of the body on the cortical surface. A similar organization exists in the motor cortex, where neighboring motoneurons control congruous muscles. Currently, very little is known about the molecular mechanisms that are responsible for the emergence and patterning of these specialized cortical areas during brain development and their plasticity after injury. Our lab is addressing this topic by investigating the molecular programs that control cell-subtype specific differentiation of distinct classes of neurons that form topographic maps, during development and after injury, towards potential future paths for nervous system circuit repair.
For further information, please also see: https://jablab.squarespace.com/ and http://neurosciences.unige.ch/departement/grecherche/DJ.html#publications