Neurons are highly dynamics cells who produce complex networks of connections. These circuits are continuously refined by developmental events and in response to new experiences, but how do neuronal circuits first acquire their function at the point where none previously existed? What mechanisms then allow a nascent circuit to refine its connectivity and activity to produce coordinated output?
We are exploring these questions using the embryo of the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans as a model. With a combination of methods drawn from classical genetics, the state-of-the-art in quantitative imaging, and new approaches to manipulating single cells in vivo, we are mapping the emergence of functional circuitry in the embryo. While cell adhesion molecules and morphogen gradients may teach us how to 'wire' a brain, we are working to understand how to 'boot' one up.
Zhuo Du, Anthony Santella, Fei He, Pavak K Shah, Yuko Kamikawa, Zhirong Bao, "The regulatory landscape of lineage differentiation in a metazoan embryo", Developmental cell 34 (5): (2019).
Piya Ghose, Alina Rashid, Peter Insley, Meera Trivedi, Pavak Shah, Anupriya Singhal, Yun Lu, Zhirong Bao, Shai Shaham, "EFF-1 fusogen promotes phagosome sealing during cell process clearance in Caenorhabditis elegans", Nature cell biology 20 (4): (2018).
Pavak K Shah, Matthew R Tanner, Ismar Kovacevic, Aysha Rankin, Teagan E Marshall, Nathaniel Noblett, Nhan Nguyen Tran, Tony Roenspies, Jeffrey Hung, Zheqian Chen, Cristina Slatculescu, Theodore J Perkins, Zhirong Bao, Antonio Colavita, "PCP and SAX-3/Robo pathways cooperate to regulate convergent extension-based nerve cord assembly in C. elegans", Developmental Cell 41 (2): 195-203 (2017).
Pavak Kirit Shah, Anthony Santella, Adrian Jacobo, Kimberly Siletti, AJ Hudspeth, Zhirong Bao, "An In Toto Approach to Dissecting Cellular Interactions in Complex Tissues", Developmental cell 43 (4): 530-540 (2017).
Anthony Santella, Ra?l Catena, Ismar Kovacevic, Pavak Shah, Zidong Yu, Javier Marquina-Solis, Abhishek Kumar, Yicong Wu, James Schaff, Daniel Col?n-Ramos, Hari Shroff, William A Mohler, Zhirong Bao, "WormGUIDES: an interactive single cell developmental atlas and tool for collaborative multidimensional data exploration", BMC Bioinformatics 16 (1): (2015).
Pavak K Shah, Silvia Gabriela Herrera‐Loeza, Christopher E Sims, Jen Jen Yeh, Nancy L Allbritton, "Small sample sorting of primary adherent cells by automated micropallet imaging and release", Cytometry Part A 85 (7): (2014).