Undergraduate Research & Scholarships

Christopher Yoo Rose Hills

Uncovering Neural Plasticity Mechanisms in Sensory Circuit Development

Atypical somatosensation is associated with a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders, but the mechanisms responsible for experience-dependent somatosensory cortex (S1) development are largely unknown at the cellular level. While single-cell transcriptomes exist for adult S1, none have been completed across early developmental timepoints. Understanding the contribution of sensory experience to cell type development and plasticity is essential for developing treatments for neurodevelopmental disorders, like autism, that are characterized by impairment of experience-dependent plasticity. My project will test the hypothesis that sensory experience is crucial for normal S1 development. I will use in situ RNA labeling to probe for mRNAs encoding specific cell-types and immediate early genes (IEGs) in layer 2/3 of S1. These explorations will further our understanding of S1 circuitry and reveal how these mechanisms are perturbed in autism.

Message To Sponsor

Thank you for supporting my research project through the Rose Hills Foundation. Your commitment encourages ambitious scholars to pursue academic inquiry and excellence. I look forward to an exceptional summer research experience!
Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
Mentor: Dan Feldman
Sponsor: Rose Hill Foundation
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