Two major themes are addressed:
1. Cerebral Cortical Development and Plasticity
Studies are designed to elucidate the processes involved in the development of the mammalian cerebral cortex. The organization of the cerebral cortex is not fixed but is plastic, meaning that it is continuously modified by experience (e.g. sensory inputs, learning, drugs/hormones, injury, etc.) throughout our lifetime. The synaptic connectivity of the cortex is particularly malleable during early periods of postnatal development. Research activities, funded by Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, are directed toward identifying the molecules and mechanisms that are responsible for mediating experience-dependent plasticity in the cerebral cortex. We use cellular, molecular and behavioural approaches in animal models in order to understand these phenomena.
2. Recovery after Brain Injury
We are currently engaged in research that is directed toward
understanding the mechanisms of neuronal injury, and recovery of function after brain injury. This research program, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research assesses anatomical and behavioural indices of functional recovery following traumatic brain injury or stroke induced in the neonate. In particular, we are interested in identifying molecules that attenuate cell death and potentiate neuronal survival and regeneration.