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Michael Greenberg, Professor of Neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and current leader for the Allen Discovery Center for Human Brain Evolution, presents on: How Nature and Nurture Conspire to Regulate Brain Development and Plasticity.
General public, Postdocs, Scientists
Title of talk: How Nature and Nurture Conspire to Regulate Brain Development and Plasticity
Michael Greenberg has a longstanding interest in how sensory experience-driven neural activity shapes the developing mammalian nervous system. Building on his early observation that neurotransmitter reception triggers the rapid induction of new gene expression, his work has focused on elucidating the nature and role of neuronal transcriptional programs induced in response to extracellular stimuli.
Work in the Greenberg laboratory has characterized the signal transduction pathways linking calcium influx at distal synapses to the neuronal nucleus, uncovered an extensive network of neuronal activity-responsive cis-regulatory elements that coordinate these gene expression changes, and demonstrated significant neuronal cell-type- and species-specific diversity in these transcriptional responses. These studies have uncovered an important role for activity-dependent transcriptional responses in dynamically sculpting specific aspects of neuronal connectivity. Current work in his laboratory focuses on how these changes contribute to experience-dependent behavioral plasticity and understanding the basis of neurological diseases that arise when these processes have gone awry.
The Distinguished Seminar Series features presentations by outstanding thinkers and scientists, sponsored by the Allen Institute for Brain Science and the Allen Institute for Neural Dynamics. Distinguished speakers are selected based on the impact of their interdisciplinary research to the neuroscience community. Speakers spend a full day visiting with research staff, are nominated by members of the Allen Institute, and selected by a committee of peers.