Research Project 1: Takashi Sato, PhD

His innovative CNDD project focuses on understanding the role of an NDD risk gene in GABAergic interneurons to influence prefrontal cortex circuit function and social behavior. Dr. Sato leverages his cutting-edge in vivo two-photon calcium imaging expertise to assess PFC circuit function. All of the CNDD cores will support Dr. Sato’s proposed project goals. Dr. Cowan, whose research program focuses on ASD/ID risk genes, molecular mechanisms, and behavior, serves as Dr. Sato’s primary mentor. Dr. Loren Looger of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and UCSD will serve as his external mentor. Specific contribution to CNDD: Determining how ASD risk genes alter brain circuit and network function is critical for understanding disease mechanisms and future therapeutic development. Dr. Sato provides critical expertise in in vivo imaging technologies and data analysis for the growing NDD research community.