Astrocytes are essential for synaptic formation and closely monitor synaptic activity to ensure proper function. The goal of this project is to understand the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms that mediate these processes.
The underlying principles governing the development and maturation of astrocytes are not well understood. Our work aims to address basic questions surrounding astrocyte development, including how they are patterned and arranged in the cortex.
Despite the long-standing appreciation for the relative structural and functional diversity of neurons, the concept of astrocyte diversity has only recently gained recognition. Studies in this project are aimed at understanding differential gene expression programs between different populations of astrocytes and how these programs contribute to specialized functional properties.