Research Concentration - Neurobiology; Stem Cells & Developmental Biology
College of Arts and Sciences
|Office:||CLS, Room 402|
|Resources:||Lizarraga Lab Website|
The Lizarraga laboratory is interested in understanding the basic mechanisms that contribute to the development of the cerebral cortex. In particular we are interested in how endosomal signaling and epigenetic regulators contribute to the development of neuronal circuitry formation during cortical development. We are focusing on the role of these pathways in neuronal arborization and synapse development and function. Defects in the formation of neuronal circuit formation have been proposed as a major cause of neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism, epilepsy and intellectual disability. Severe forms of autism are co-morbid with intellectual disability, difficult to treat epilepsy and non-verbal status, and affect about 30% of patients diagnosed with autism. There are to date no current effective bio-therapeutics to treat patients affected by severe autism. Using a combination of genome edited and patient derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) as well as epigenetic, imaging and physiological approaches the Lizarraga Lab hopes to gain a better understanding on the underlying mechanisms that contribute to the normal development of the cerebral cortex and to that when altered underlie to the pathogenesis of neurodevelopment disorders.