We study the roles that local protein homeostasis and actin remodeling play in regulating synaptic plasticity, brain circuits and behavior, with a focus on understanding how dysfunctions in these processes lead to neurodevelopmental disorders.

A feature of a large number of brain disorders, including developmental and neurodegenerative diseases, is malfunctioning synapses and synaptic connections and hence the term “synaptopathies” for these disorders. Our lab has long been interested in understanding how synaptic protein synthesis and the associated actin remodeling that reshape synapses are regulated, with particular emphasis on how this occurs in development. A number of neurodevelopmental disorders such as the Autism Spectrum Disorders and intellectual disability are synaptopathies and there is increasing evidence that these disorders show dysregulated protein synthesis.