cerebral cortex projection neuron development, diversity, disease and regeneration

Toward regeneration of the brain and spinal cord

Our goals are to understand neuronal molecular controls and mechanisms, and apply developmental controls toward both brain and spinal cord regeneration and directed differentiation. This biology informs our understanding of neuronal specificity of vulnerability in human neurodegenerative and developmental diseases.

To that end, our work focuses on:

  • neocortical projection neuron development and subtype specification,
  • new approaches to subtype-specific axonal growth cone biology,
  • neural progenitor / “stem cell” biology,
  • induction of adult neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons), and
  • directed neuronal subtype differentiation via molecular manipulation of endogenous neural progenitors and pluripotent cells (ES/iPS).

Areas of Investigation

Microscopy image of cortical tissue

Molecular controls over cortical projection neuron specification

Molecular controls that direct subtype-specification, development, and diversity of cortical projection neurons
Microscopy image of growth cones

Growth cone biology in development, disease and regeneration

New directions in subtype-specific growth cone molecular machinery for circuit wiring, maintenance, and potentially disease
endogenous neurogenesis

Induced Neurogenesis, Recruitment of Endogenous Progenitors for Directed Neuronal Subtype Differentiation

directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells

Directed Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells for Mechanistic and Therapeutic Modeling and Screening Approaches

new technologies

Development of New Technologies and Novel Approaches, and Tool Building to Investigate Connectivity, Diversity, and Circuit Formation of Cortical Projection Neurons

Center for Brain Science

We are part of Harvard's Center for Brain Science. Find out more about research at the center, and opportunities for collaboration.

Join the Macklis Lab

We are open to inquiries and applications from highly motivated Harvard Ph.D. students, potential postdoctoral fellows, and undergraduate students interested in nervous system developmental, stem cell, and regenerative biology. We encourage applicants to contact me directly.
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