Unravelling the principles of bilateral brain wiring (2016–2019)
Neurons in the mammalian brain must be precisely wired together in order for the brain to function correctly. Our goal is to identify the general molecular and cellular rules governing commissural wiring in the mammalian cortex across species to determine how the largest fibre tract in the human brain, the corpus callosum, evolved. We hypothesise that this involved functional modifications in mechanisms affecting axon guidance that differ between placentals and marsupials. We investigate the regulatory gene networks determining commissural neuron fate (Aim 1), the regulation of axon guidance components within commissural neurons (Aim 2), and the influence of the surrounding brain tissue on the development of commissural connections (Aim 3).