The goal of our research is to elucidate the cellular mechanisms and circuit principles that allow subcortical (brainstem) neurons to produce movements. Determination of the normal capabilities of the brainstem motor systems should help better understand how functional connections between brainstem neurons and spinal cord neurons can be improved after injury or neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism.

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