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Melissa Lau
Graduate Student
mllau@scripps.edu


Project Description:
Formation of functional neural circuits requires a coordinated program of signaling events that direct proliferation of glial progenitors, differentiation of specific cell types, and selection of synaptic targets.To identify signaling pathways involved in regulation of neurogenesis, whole brain electroporation of morpholinos and shRNAs allows for directed knockdown of specific signaling components.In vivotime lapse imaging of progenitor cells in the tectum will reveal changes in proliferation and differentiation resulting from manipulations of signaling pathways.Further,in vivoperturbations of these signaling pathways may result in compensatory or aberrant changes, such that subsequent formation and behavioral output of the retinotectal circuit can be analyzed.With this approach we aim to better understand the mechanisms governing control of neurogenesis, and thus ultimately circuit formation.

Education:
University of California, San Diego (2009 - present)
Ph.D Student, Neurosciences

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005-2009)
B.S., Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Minor in Biology

Fellowships:
National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship (2010-2012)

Publications:
Sansam CL, Cruz NM, Danielian PS, Amsterdam A,Lau ML, Hopkins N, Lees JA. (2010) A vertebrate gene, ticrr, is an essential checkpoint and replication regulator.Genes and Development24(2): 183-194.

Dulcis D, Enright S,Lau ML, Spitzer NC. Olfactory circuit activation induces neurotransmitter respecification affecting behavior. Poster at Society for Neuroscience Meeting 2010.