“Flight Data” Recorder, Checkpoint Timing, Hodaptics, and Growth Cone Independence

Macklis’ project has four proposed aims. The first is to develop a molecular-DNA "flight data recorder" inserted into individual cells, both to observe the rare cells that undergo remarkably appropriate partial maturation, and those that becomes stalled, confused, delayed, or immature. The second aim builds molecular timekeepers in order to better understand maturation time for individual cells. The third aim develops entirely novel synthetic biology technology to discover biological interactions during development that neurons may require to sequence through maturation “checkpoints.” The fourth aim develops first-in-field analysis of neuronal diversity and maturation at a deep level, in order to understand the basis of brain wiring and circuitry.

Affiliated Investigators

Jeffrey Macklis, M.D., D.HST

Harvard University

Dr. Jeffrey Macklis is the Max and Anne Wien Professor of Life Sciences in the Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, and Center for Brain Science, Harvard University, and Professor of Neurology and of Neurosurgery at Harvard Medical School (HMS). His laboratory is directed toward both 1) understanding molecular controls and mechanisms over neuron sub-type specification, development, diversity, axon guidance-circuit formation, and degeneration in the cerebral cortex, and 2) applying developmental controls toward both brain and spinal cord regeneration. Dr. Macklis is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including a Rita Allen Foundation Scholar Award, a Director’s Innovation Award from the NIH Director’s Office, a Soderberg Prize Symposium Lectureship at the Swedish Society for Medicine, The CNS Foundation Award, numerous honorary and named institutional lectureships and visiting professorships (e.g. Leonardo da Vinci, Raine, Moon, Grass, Stellar, Sherman), several Hoopes Prizes for excellence in undergraduate research mentoring, and a Senator Jacob Javits Award in the Neurosciences and MERIT Award from the NINDS/NIH.