2 postdoctoral grants for the Schonewille lab!
Osorio's project: The cerebellum, also known as “the little brain” covers about 10% of the total brain volume, but contain more brain cells, neurons, than the rest of the brain together. We know that the cerebellum has an important role in motor skills, but there is also increasing evidence for a role in cognitive and emotional processes. One of the most important neurons in the cerebellum, the Purkinje cell, exists in two different subtypes, which differ greatly in their activity. Our hypothesis is that precisely this activity of Purkinje cells around birth is essential for the development and function of the cerebellum. With this project we will get a better understanding on how the brain develops and how brain development disorders occur.
White's project: In order for normal movement to be possible, neurons that are involved in its control must both function correctly and be organized correctly. The cerebellum is crucial to normal movement and is organized in a very precise manner. However, how this organization is created during development and how it relates to ongoing locomotor behavior is not known. In this proposal, I will study the development of the locomotor circuitry and use classical genetic as well as optogenetic manipulations to better understand the role of cerebellar organization in locomotion.