Molecular mechanisms underlying neural circuit assembly in the mammalian visual system

Thursday, June 9, 2022
Hour: 12:30 - 13:30
Gerhard M.J. Schmidt Lecture Hall
Prof. Alex L. Kolodkin
Deputy Director Institute of Basic Biomedical Sciences Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

The assembly of neural circuits critical for visual system function includes the differentiation of select subtypes of amacrine cells (ACs) and retinal ganglion cells (RGCs), the elaboration of precise connections within the retina among ACs and RGCs, and targeting of RGC axons to their appropriate retino-recipient regions within the CNS. I will consider these events in the context of the mammalian accessory optic system (AOS), which is tuned to detect slow directional motion in order to stabilize images on the retina. This work implicates mutations in certain human genes that encode orthologues of proteins critical for assembling murine AOS circuits in phylogenetically conserved aspects of visual system function.