Novel Circuit-Based Therapeutic Approaches

We combine modeling with neuromodulation, imaging, and behavioral experiments to discover, test, and validate novel circuit based therapeutics. The primary goal of such therapeutics is to normalize brain circuit function. Regardless of the initial cause of disease (environmental toxin, genetic problem, immune system response, gut- brain axis, etc), the reason why patients suffer from symptoms such as tremor or memory loss is because the disease led to a malfunction in the patient’s brain circuitry. Moreover, the unfortunate reality right now is that even experts do not have a way to quantitatively measure and understand the status of those dysfunctional brain circuits. This poses a great problem in diagnosis, treatment selection, and treatment development. You can’t treat what you don’t understand. Fortunately, we envision a near future where we do understand brain circuits and can accurately monitor and treat them just as we do for weight, blood pressure, and glucose level. Through experiments we are conducting in our lab, we are beginning to make inferences about the organizational principles of important brain circuits. This will allow us to use current brain imaging techniques to output scores of how, for example, your direct and indirect circuits are performing (both of which play a critical role in diseases such as Parkinson’s) and where in the circuit a patient might have a dysfunction. This will give doctors much better guidance and enable improved treatments of neurological conditions.


Our lab is interested in understanding how the brain works at the systems level.