Our lab is interested in activity dependent mechanisms of olfactory system development. Specifically we are studying how olfactory sensory neuron (OSN) axons navigate to the correct glomerulus in an odorant receptor-specific manner.
In the olfactory bulb (OB) new interneurons are integrated throughout life. These new neurons are born in the subventricular zone (SVZ) and then migrate through the rostral migratory stream (RMS) to the OB where they differentiate.
Currently we are focused on how ion channel activity affects these processes. The hyperpolarization-activated cyclic nucleotide-gated (HCN) channel is expressed in both OSNs and OB interneurons. We are using multiple techniques to assay the role of HCN channels in OSN axon pathfinding and adult neurogenesis.