Assistant Professor; Psychiatry, Neuroscience, Anesthesiology, and Pain Management
B.S., Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
M.S., Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
Ph.D., Harvard University
In conjunction with Margaret and William R. Hearst III
Each day we experience myriad somatosensory stimuli—hugs from loved ones, warm showers, a mosquito bite, and sore muscles after a workout. These tactile, thermal, itch, and nociceptive signals are detected by sensory neurons innervating the skin, propagated into the spinal cord, and transmitted to the brain via ascending somatosensory pathways. Primary sensory neurons that innervate the skin and detect a wide range of somatosensory stimuli have been identified and well-characterized. In contrast, very little is known about how peripheral signals are integrated and processed within the spinal cord and how these signals are conveyed to the brain to generate somatosensory perception and behavioral responses. The Choi lab aims to determine the developmental logic, functional organization, and dysfunction of ascending somatosensory circuitry. Our lab explores these exciting areas using new mouse genetic tools in conjunction with advanced molecular, anatomical, physiological, and behavioral approaches.