Our laboratory is directed toward both 1) understanding molecular controls and mechanisms over neuron sub-type development, diversity, axon guidance-circuit formation, and degeneration in the cerebral cortex (e.g. corticospinal motor neurons - CSMN - in motor neuron disease - ALS, HSPs, and PLS; corticostriatal projection neurons – CStrPN - in Huntington’s disease – HD – and related corticobasal degeneration - CBD), and 2) applying developmental controls toward both brain and spinal cord regeneration (e.g. corticospinal motor neuron (CSMN) circuitry that degenerates in ALS and other “upper motor neuron” degenerative diseases, and whose injury is central to loss of motor function in spinal cord injury) and directed differentiation for in vitro therapeutic and mechanistic screening.
The lab focuses on neocortical projection neuron development and sub-type specification; neural progenitor / “stem cell” biology; induction of adult neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons); subtype-specific axonal growth cone biology; and directed neuronal subtype differentiation via molecular manipulation of neural progenitors and pluripotent cells (ES/iPS). The same biology informs understanding of neuronal subtype specificity of vulnerability of human neurodegenerative and developmental diseases, in particular ALS / motor neuron disease, HSPs, PLS, Huntington's disease, autism spectrum disorders (ASD), and Rett syndrome and ACC in particular of ASDs.
Welcome to the Macklis Lab at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts!
As you approach our lab walking through the Harvard Yard, you will find the Bauer Laboratory Building.
On the 1st floor you can find the Macklis lab! Even before walking in, you'll find us at our lab benches through the glass windows. Looking around the lab, you'll see us working on a diversity of projects.
Some of these projects involve molecular biology, biochemistry, and immunolabeling.
We analyze cells, tissue sections, and even whole-mount brains in our tissue culture and histology rooms.
Plus, plenty of time is spent in the darkness of our microscopy rooms, acquiring snapshots and montages of our precious samples.
Finally, much of the magic happens in the room shown below. Here we perform various types of brain surgery using asceptic technique: ultrasound guided and stereotaxic labeling, electroporation, and other in vivo manipulations. We also share an electrophysiology rig with the Murthy lab, to study the functional integration of neocortical neurons.
When we're not at our benches, you can find us.... working at our desks, brainstorming in the small conference room, or kicking back in our lounge.
We hope to see you soon!