Dr Esther Becker
Molecular mechanisms underlying neuron development and autism
My group is interested in elucidating the potential role of key autism genes in the development and function of the cerebellum. The cerebellum has long been recognized for its function in motor control and learning. However, this part of the brain has also been increasingly implicated in higher cognitive functions such as attention, executive control and language. Interestingly, over the past few years the cerebellum has emerged as one of the key brain regions affected in autism. However, the molecular underpinnings linking cerebellar abnormalities to autism remain largely unknown. To provide fundamental insights into the autism-linked molecular pathways that govern development and disease of the cerebellum, my lab employs a combination of genetic, cell biological and biochemical approaches using in vitro and in vivo model systems. Please see our website for more details and contact information.