Our Research

We have previously shown how SRGAP2C, an HSG that modifies synaptic development, changes the structural and functional organization of cortical circuits and improves learning. These findings highlight how synaptic development provides a molecular and cellular substrate through which the large-scale organization of cortical circuits and their functional properties can be modified, and behavioral performance can be enhanced.

Synaptic development has also been critically implicated in a number of neurodevelopmental diseases, including Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). However, while our work has shown that changes in synaptic development can directly impact the brain-wide organization and function of neuronal circuits, we currently know little about how the large-scale structure and function of neuronal circuits is affected in ASD and other neurodevelopmental disorders.

Our lab uses a combination of in vivo microscopy approaches (including 2-photon and wide-field imaging), neuronal circuit mapping techniques, and behavioral mapping to investigate how HSGs modify brain development and function, how impaired synaptic development impacts the structure and function of neuronal circuits, and how HSGs alter the phenotypic expression of disease. Together, this work will help elucidate how neuronal circuit structure and function forms the foundation for learning and cognition, and lay the groundwork for studying how neuronal connectivity is impaired in neurodevelopmental disorders.

For more information on the work we do in our lab: https://www.schmidtlab-neuro.com