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Publications of the Week

Spatially Patterned Excitatory Neuron Subtypes and Projections of the Claustrum

By September 6, 2021No Comments

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This week we profile a recent publication in eLife from the lab of
Dr. Mark Cembrowski (pictured, back right) at the UBC Life Sciences Institute.

Can you provide a brief overview of your lab’s current research focus?

Our lab is interested in understanding how the brain gives rise to memory and cognition. Such work is a central goal of foundational neuroscience, and will guide understanding and treatment of brain disorders and diseases including Alzheimer’s disease and post-traumatic stress disorder.

What is the significance of the findings in this publication?

The claustrum is a brain region implicated in a wide variety of functions – from attention, to sleep, to impulsivity, to consciousness itself. Remarkably, we know relatively little about how this brain region is organized, and understanding this organization can provide critical insight into how such diverse functions emerge from this single region. In our work, we used high-throughput techniques to map the molecular, cellular, and circuit organization of the claustrum. In doing so, we discovered distinct types of excitatory neurons that likely play different roles in claustrum function.

What are the next steps for this research?

Our next work is to functionally map these different neuron types to behavioural roles, seeking to understand whether they play distinct roles in claustrum function.

Funding Sources:

Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
Canadian Institutes of Health Research
Canada Foundation for Innovation
Howard Hughes Medical Institute


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