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

Research questions are addressed using a multidisciplinary approach which includes optical imaging, optogenetics, electrophysiology, photorelease of caged neurotransmitters and anatomy. We use the mouse as an 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 spinal cord injury, cerebral palsy, stroke and neurodevelopmental mental disorders.