We are a neuroscience lab at the Stowers Institute for Medical Research. Our aim is to explore and understand sensory systems and the processing of sensory information in the brain. Some specific efforts include investigation of processing of pheromone information, neural development, sensory coding, and innate behavior circuity.
We use a variety of technologies in the lab, including molecular biology, mouse genetics, optical imaging, patch clamp and other electrophysiological recording techniques, as well as mouse behavioral assays to address the following major questions:
The sense of smell is as vivid as vision in evoking memories of our past, but many people fail to appreciate this sense until they lose it. For humans, the sense of smell is often viewed as an aesthetic sense, but its decline is often the early sign of neurodegenerate diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. For most animals, olfaction is critical for their survival. When sights and sounds are obscured in a noisy environment, scents are often the only means to discern food and detect predators. Pheromones, on the other hand, evoke mating rituals and territorial aggression which are essential for the propagation of the species.
Studying olfaction will allow us to address some of the questions that are common to all other senses: vision, hearing, touch and taste. Moreover, the powerful genetic tools available in the olfactory system can allow us to dissect the molecular mechanisms of normal and pathological condition in the sensory systems.
Qiang's daughter and Santa at the Annual Stowers Holiday Party.03. November 2018
Six of the lab members leave for SFN and present posters.26. October 2018
We have identified 'navigator' neurons that are key to setting up connections in the system responsible for the sense of smell! Publication in Neuron.04. June 2018
Welcome Summer Scholars!01. May 2018
Welcome Kohl!01. April 2018