The lab studies the genetic and cellular function of the brain. The lab main research interests are neurodevelopment and neuroendocrinology with special emphasis on sleep and sleep disorders. To understand these processes, we combine the use of genetic manipulations, real-time 2-photon imaging of single molecules, organelles, and neurons, as well as video-tracking of behavior in live zebrafish. The zebrafish is a simple vertebrate with evolutionary conserved organization of the central nervous system. This unique transparent model is amenable for live imaging and highthroughput genetic and pharmacological experiments. Our general goal is to link gene function with the development and plasticity of neuronal circuits that regulate specific behavior. In order to understand human brain disorders, we develop several zebrafish models. The function of genes and neuronal circuits is determined using loss-of-function (CRISPR-mediated genome editing as well as genetic silencing and ablation of a specific neuronal population) and gain-of-function (transposon-mediated transgenesis, pharmacology and optogenetics) experiments.
Next to the fish system 6