I study the connections between neurons in the mouse brain in Dr. Brenda Bloodgood’s lab. In particular, I’m interested in a specific type of neuron in the visual cortex that provides strong inhibition and modulates the activity of entire neural circuits. I am interested in learning how the synapses (or the sites where neurons talk to each other) onto these cells function and change during development. I use in vitro electrophysiology, calcium imaging, and neurotransmitter uncaging to examine the functional properties of these synapses. This is an important question because this cell type that I’m looking at plays a huge role in regulating the visual critical period. Critical periods are times during development when the environment can reshape and mold neural circuits. Improper visual stimulation during this period can lead to permanent changes in the circuitry that impede correct visual behavior.
When I’m not recording neurons’ electrical activity, I enjoy reading, going to the beach, long-distance running, hiking, cooking, and eating.