Our research focuses on processes that are important for proper communication to occur in the brain, including mechanisms underlying proper patterning of dendrites on a neuron. Since the way that a neuron receives information is determined by the branching pattern of its dendrites, understanding this process will help us to understand why disorders occur in which dendrites are patterned incorrectly. We focus on the role that the protein NOS1AP, which is upregulated in the DLPFC in patients withschizophrenia (SCZ), plays in determining neuronal circuitry. We are now using iPSC technology to study human neurons from control patients and patients with SCZ. Furthermore, we alter NOS1AP expression in the wildtype human neurons to model SCZ. We use the cells to study neuronal differentiation and effects of anti-psychotics on this development.
- 06/01/2014 - 06/30/2016 "Regulation of Neural Circuitry by Cypin" National Science Foundation (IOS-1353724) Bonnie Firestein Principal Investigator
- "Targeting Cypin for Functional Recovery Following TBI" NJCBIR (CBIR14IRG019) Bonnie Firestein Principal Investigator
- "Spinal Cord Motor Neuron-Based Biodegradable Neural Interface Design" NJCSCR (CSCR14IRG005) Bonnie Firestein Principal Investigator
- "Using hiPSC technology to study the role of NOS1AP in schizophrenia " Brain and Behavior Research Foundation Marion Nicholson Distinguished Investigator Bonnie Firestein Principal Investigator
- "Effects of PTEN Loss on Functional Recovery after Traumatic Brain Injury (Project 2 of MPI)" NJCBIR (CBIR12MIG011) Bonnie Firestein Principal Investigator