The goal of our research is to elucidate the circuit principles and cellular mechanisms that allow subcortical (brainstem) descending pathways to control motor and autonomic functions.

Research questions are addressed using multiple approaches such as single-cell calcium imaging, electrophysiology, optogenetics, photo-uncaging, and neuroanatomical tract-tracing which we apply to  the mouse animal model.

Determination of the normal capabilities of the brainstem descending systems should help better understand how functional connections between brainstem neurons and spinal cord neurons can be improved after CNS injury or neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.