Recent Research Projects

Control of Movement: Reticulospinal circuits

2014/15-2019/20 • $780,611 • PI
Perhaps the most fundamental thing we do is move - whether in speaking, in playing the piano or dancing, or lifting weights. Large parts of our central nervous systems are wired to ensure that we move appropriately for the task at hand. But how are we wired to move? There are multiple brain...

Define Interneuron Subpopulations in the Mouse Spinal Cord during Development

2016/17-2019/20 • $112,000 • PI
Precise organization of neural circuits ensures proper functioning of the central nervous system (CNS). Assembly of these circuits requires correct specification of neuronal populations defined during development. One goal in my research is to understand developmental processes underlying...

Functional analyses of subpopulations of genetically-defined spinal interneurons in regulating different motor activities

2014/15-2018/19 • $760,085 • PI
Loss of locomotor activity due to disease or accident is devastating to patients and leads to social hardship and economic burdens on the Canadian healthcare system. And, up to now we have little understanding of the neural circuits that control movement. Thus, before we can generate...

Functional sub-classification of genetically identified interneurons in the spinal cord

2010/11-2014/15 • $185,000 • PI
One of the most fundamental questions in biology is how the vertebrate nervous system develops. My research program focuses on understanding developmental processes underlying the formation of functional groups of spinal cord neurons. Different progenitor domains in the embryonic spinal cord...

Functional analyses of molecularly-defined spinal interneurons in regulating motor activity

2010/11-2013/14 • $357,033 • PI
Locomotor movements, such as walking, running and swimming, come to us so naturally that most people may not realize that such activities are very complex and require a high degree of coordination of many limb and body muscles involved. The neurons that control the muscles that generate...