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Omer Durak, Ph.D.

Image of Omer Durak, Ph.D.

MIT, Ph.D. – I joined the Macklis lab in November 2016 as a postdoctoral fellow. My central research focus has converged to the genes, neurons, circuits, and behavior in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, I am interested in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the establishment of callosal projection neuron (CPN) circuitry, and the role of CPN in disease-relevant social and cognitive behavior. To achieve this, (1) I investigate GC molecular machinery of CPN in mice mutant for a disease-risk gene utilizing approaches developed in the Macklis lab, and (2) complement with disease-relevant behavioral assays to link dysfunctional CPN circuitry to cognition/behavior. Prior to joining the Macklis lab, I obtained my Ph.D. from MIT under the supervision of Prof. Li-Huei Tsai. My doctoral work in the Tsai lab focused on the functional characterization of the role of multiple neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric disease risk genes in cortical and hippocampal development and disorder-relevant behavior, and investigation of the converging roles of Wnt signaling and cortical projections neurons in the pathophysiology of neuropsychiatric disorders. I received my B.S. degree from Caltech in Biology/Neuroscience.

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