Robert J. and Nancy D. Carney Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Ph.D., University of Alberta
B.S., German University of Cairo
Brain circuits are dynamic networks of neurons that process information in the form of electrical and chemical signals to form memories and behaviors. To investigate how brain circuits instantiate fundamental computations underlying behaviors, we need to map their wiring diagrams coupled with functional analysis at cellular resolution to correlate neuron activity with behavior. However, the electrical and chemical signals are not directly visible since there is no natural contrast mechanism that allows us “to see” those signals. The Abdelfattah lab is developing novel classes of molecular tools for large-scale functional analysis and manipulation of brain circuits. In the lab, we repurpose proteins found in nature and engineer them to illuminate brain communication. We hope to use our new molecular tools to unravel the functional basis and causes of neural disorders at a level of detail that has not been accessible to date and empower us to develop novel treatments.