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Dr. Rico’s lab research seeks to understand how the brain is built and how deviations from the normal plan impact behavior and cause disease. Without this knowledge, we can only hope that chance will lead us to new therapies for neurological and psychiatric disorders, which affect the lives of hundreds of millions of people worldwide.
Their research encompasses neural stem cell manipulation, generation of brain organoids, structural and functional in vivo imaging, optogenetic manipulation of neural circuits, and mathematical and systems biology approaches to circuit assembly and function. Ongoing collaborations between basic and clinical researchers also allow the study of neurons derived from human patients with neurodevelopmental disorders. They take advantage of a large range of experimental approaches and model organisms, from worms to humans. The outstanding collaborative culture established here facilitates rapid progress through the synergistic effort of scientists with very diverse backgrounds and complementary skills.