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Development and function of the hypothalamus: Implications for neuro-developmental disorders

Our lab utilizes zebrafish as a vertebrate model organism to tackle basic questions concerning the development and function of the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus is an evolutionarily ancient and conserved brain region that allows all vertebrates to adapt to emotional and physiological challenges. Hypothalamic neurons regulate fundamental body functions including sleep, blood pressure, body temperature, hunger and thirst, stress and social behavior. 

We focus on linking genes, development and function since developmental impairments of hypothalamic neuronal circuits are associated with neurological disorders that disrupt both physiological and psychological homeostasis.