I have a strong interdisciplinary background encompassing molecular biology, genetics, and neural systems related to movement and cognition. During my time pursuing a Ph.D. at Columbia University, I made significant discoveries concerning the mechanistic principles governing the specific wiring of neurons that control movement. This initial research sparked my curiosity about the higher-level structures within the brain and the broader applicability of neural circuit structure-function relationships. Motivated by these questions, I joined Adam Hantman's group at Janelia Research Campus. There, I actively contributed to the development of a head-fixed reaching task for mice, which served as a valuable model to investigate the involvement of the motor cortex and pons in skilled movement. Subsequently, my focus shifted towards neural circuits underlying cognition and memory. To pursue this interest further, I relocated to Edinburgh as a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Wellcome Fellow, where I joined Matt Nolan's lab. In Matt Nolan's lab, my research efforts yielded significant insights into the fundamental organizing principles governing neural circuits involved in spatial cognition. These findings ultimately led to my recognition as a recipient of the Royal Society and Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellowship. Currently, as an independent group leader, I am fortunate to have a talented team of young scientists working alongside me, as we continue to explore the wonders of the brain. Additionally, I am a mother learning to balance my role as a parent with my scientific pursuits. Outside of the lab, I love outdoor activities, playing tennis and I am beginning to learn wood work. Moreover, I am actively involved as a member of the Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain, which introduces an exciting translational dimension to my research.
PhD Student, Simons Initiative for the Developing Brain
Visiting Research Associate
Maria Del Mar Munoz Burbano