We aim to explore the fundamental mechanisms that guide the development of a healthy brain. Our research involves determining how brain circuits assemble for their specialized functions and identifying the specific steps along this process that, when disrupted, lead to severe neurological disorders. Currently, we focus on three disease conditions: fragile X syndrome (FXS), which is a leading single-gene cause of autism and intellectual disability; fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), a severe neurodevelopmental disorder; and hearing loss, which is the most common birth defect among newborns and a common problem for older adults. We develop animal models to uncover underlying pathological mechanisms that are unique or common across these diseases.

Lab News

2024 April Lab get-together at Yuan's House and a final goodbye to Mark and Brett, who will be leaving the lab to attend medical school the following academic year. 

                                                    yuans house              lunch

2024 February Several new members joined the lab and Mark and Brett presented at the 20th annual BMS research fair. Sima and Danah also presented posters at the annual ARO (Association for Research in Otolaryngology) conference in Anaheim, California.

2023 August Mark, Sima and Danah presented at the BMS retreat. Sima qualified as a University finalist for the 3-minute speech competition. 

2023 July Brett joined our lab as a full time technician. Previously, Brett conducted clinical research at UF, focusing on movement disorders and Deep Brain Stimulation.

2023 April  Jenna was awarded the Mae Hampton Watt Presidential Scholarship for Research and has been nominated by the Psychology department for the Marion Jewell Hay award.

2023 March Melisa received FSU's IDEA Grant from the Center of Undergraduate Research for her exploration of Cell Filling techniques.

2023 February Huimei Wang visited our lab from Ohio, teaching us electrophysiology techniques and in return, we taught her about plasmid injection and different staining protocols.

2023 February Danah and Mark presented their current projects at Biomedical Sciences Annual Research Fair. Mark's presented on Prenatal Alcohol Exposure and Brain Development and Danah presented on Calretinin-expressing neurons as an underlying cell type in Fragile X Syndrome.

                                   mark          Danah

2022 December Xiaoyan graduated from her PhD program in Neuroscience, following this she will complete her Post-Doc at the University of Pennsylvania

2022 August Sima Sabbagh joined our lab and began her project focusing on alterations in synaptic development in Fragile X Syndrome, using a chicken model. 

2022 July Check out our new publication in the JoVE (see Publication)! This is in collaboration with Dr. Xiaoyu Wang (Jinan Univ.). Enjoy the amazing images taken from genetically manipulated neurons.

2022 May  We published a review article in Cells titled: Novel animal models for understanding FMRP function and FXS pathology. (see Publication)

2022 May  We received an MDS grant from FSU the Council on Research & Creativity to develop a mouse model of prenatal alcohol exposure to study Fetal alcohol spectrum disorders, in collaboration with Dr. Jennifer Steiner (College of Health and Human Sciences).

2022 April  Fun at the lab picnic.