Alex Poulopoulos

Vast circuits of synaptically-connected neurons give our brains the ability to perform bewildering functions like perception, cognition, memory, and behavior. How does such extraordinary circuitry form? This has been the central question motivating my research. I came to the department from the field of synaptogenesis, working as a graduate student with Nils Brose at the Max Planck Institute for Experimental Medicine. As a postdoc in the Macklis Lab, I’ve focused on establishing new experimental approaches using in vivo gene manipulation, transplantation, mass-spec, and RNAseq aiming to understand the subcellular networks of molecules that drive circuit development in the brain.

Now, for the non-science bit of this blurb, I turn to music with a segue: when an exciting new paper is published, friends and I get together and have fun digging into it. Much the same when a brilliant album comes out, we make a night of it. Music is both beautiful and fascinating. How is it created, and why does it resonate with us in such specific ways? At home there are several instruments that can make delightful music. From piano to jaw harp, from fiddle to Oud; one would say a talented multi-instrumentalist lives in my apartment. The fact is, I can’t play any. But one day I’ll play like a virtuoso…well, at least the jaw harp.