The next 5 years

My expectations for the next 5 years as Ragnar Söderberg Fellow in medicine are to set up a solid scientific team that will together create the environment, knowledge and workload necessary to achieve our scientific objectives. Grouping several scientists from various fields for working together towards common goals will be definitely a challenge, and promises to be very exciting. We have two main objectives in the lab. The first is to define the mechanisms that regulate the development of specific sensory neuron types that are involved in different sensory modalities as pain, proprioception and hearing. Eventually, we aim at providing a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms that orchestrate the multiple steps of neuronal specification during development and at revealing the physiological functions of still enigmatic neuronal populations. Our results should also shed light onto how developmental processes make use of stochastic or pre-determined molecular mechanisms for controlling the formation of biological systems. Our second objective is to understand the molecular logic that drives the assembly of the neural circuits that underlie the locomotor behavior. We are here interested in deciphering how different “communication lines” develop to form together unique tridimensional structures that enable complex behaviors to be performed. 

I hope that in the long term, these studies will represent a strong theoretical framework that will help us and others exploring further the principles that govern the construction of the nervous system and provide new means to perform reconstruction work on neural circuits whose failure is at the root of human disabilities.