1. Amputation often leads to phantom limb pain and other neuropathic pain. We are interested in understating how peripheral nerve injury changes neuronal connections and how these changes are translated into behavior and recovery. We study short- and long-term post-injury plasticity using intracellular recordings in brain slices, extracellular recordings in vivo, calcium imaging and functional MRI methods.
  2. We are interested in the role of inhibitory interneurons in post-injury plasticity. We use optogenetics, neuronal-specific labeling in rodent models, calcium imaging and electrophysiology to detect cell-specific changes induced by injury.
  3. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in children often leads to long-term neurological, cognitive and emotional deficits. We investigate how TBI induces abnormal neuronal connectional that may translate to impaired and delayed recovery. In order to identify post-TBI plasticity mechanisms, we apply intracellular recordings in brain slices, extracellular recordings in vivo, functional imaging methods and behavioral testing in a pediatric rodent model of TBI.
  4. We are developing neuromodulation strategies to augment recovery following injury. We use optogenetics, non-invasive brain stimulation technologies such as Transcranial magnetic stimulation, electrodes and other genetic based modification to manipulate neuronal function and guide plasticity.
  5. We are working towards developing new biosensors to report on neuronal function in vivo, and neuromodulation technologies that will allow wireless control of a specific neuronal population. To that end, we have recently identified and cloned a single gene that encodes to a protein that is activated by non-invasive electromagnetic fields. This new technology could complement the existing arsenal of neuromodulation techniques, and, due to its non-invasive nature, can be potentially translated into the clinic.