Developmental Neuroscience

The developmental biology community is one of the most rapidly expanding at the University of Minnesota, with over a dozen laboratories on the Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses representing a diverse array of vertebrate and invertebrate systems. The development of neural systems is represented in the Developmental Neuroscience group in over a dozen laboratories that cover a broad range of fundamental processes. Studies include: 1) the definition of molecular and cellular events leading to the emergence and modeling of neurons that underlie behavior in the developing moth, Manduca sexta; 2) the determination of the molecular signals involved in growth cone guidance and cell-cell interactions in the developing nervous system; 3) the study of the molecular cues that govern the organization of the retina in the developing eye and its connections to the rest of the brain using chick and rodent models; 4) the examination, using human genetic approaches and studies in mice, of gene function as precursor cells differentiate into recognizable neurons and move to their final positions during formation of the brain; 5) studies of human brain development using methods drawn from cognitive neuroscience; 6) genetic approaches to the development of sensory maps in the mammalian neocortex; 7) studies of the gene cascade regulating differentiation and fate determination of vertebrate neurons and 8) studies of activity-dependent development, specialization and survival of neurons implementing molecular, cellular and physiological techniques using the auditory system of the mouse and chick as a model. Investigators interact regularly through the Center for Developmental Biology, in a rich collegial environment for students and fellows.