Education

Postdoctoral fellow, Harvard University, 2016

Ph.D. Neuroscience, University of California, Davis, 2010

B.S. Molecular Biosciences/Biotechnology, Arizona State University, 2004

Degrees

  • PhD
    Neuroscience

Research Interests

What are the molecular and activity-dependent mechanisms instructing neural circuit development?

What is the logic of synaptic connectivity within neural circuits and how does brain structure establish brain function?

How do sensory systems capture and transform information about the world into perception and behavior?

These are a few of the big, overarching questions motivating our research on the development and plasticity of neural circuits for sensory perception. Using the mammalian visual system as a model, we explore changes in synaptic connectivity and function in parallel neural pathways from the eyes to central targets in the brain. We use transgenic and molecular tools to label and manipulate specific neuronal subsets in the visual system, electrophysiological and optical recording techniques to assay circuit function and connectivity, and high-resolution imaging techniques, including three-dimensional super-resolution fluorescence microscopy, to explore the molecular and structural refinement of developing circuits. By applying high-performance computing approaches to automate and refine our image analysis, we are working to extract new biological findings from big data.

Research Methods
Axon Tracing
Biochemistry
Bioinformatics
Calcium Imaging
Computational Modeling
Cre/Lox and Transgenic Mice
Electrophysiology
Electroporation
Immunohistochemistry
Neuronal Tracing
Patch Clamping
Electron Microscopy
Confocal and Light-Sheet Microscopy
Photostimulation
Super-resolution Microscopy
Research Interests
Axon Guidance
Cell Biology
Computer Vision
Development
Ganglion Cell Function and Activation by Stimulus Electrodes
Gene Regulation
Neural Development
Neural Modeling
Neuronal Activity
Neuroscience
Optogenetics
Sensory Processing
Vision
Activity Regulated Genes
Activity-Dependent Development
Neural Circuits
Neural Circuits
Plasticity
Super-resolution Microscopy

Current Students

Former Students

  • Student Name
    Kyle Fisk
    Current Position
    Research Specialist II at The John's Hopkins University
Dr. Colenso Speer
BRB 1229
Neuroscience and Cognitive Science
Phone
Email
cspeer [at] umd.edu