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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

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Section on Cellular and Cognitive Neurodevelopment

Section on Cellular and Cognitive Neurodevelopment

At the Section on Cellular and Cognitive Neurodevelopment we are interested in the role of thalamocortical circuits in psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia. We have specific interest in an understudied region of the thalamus known as the medial pulvinar (Pm) , which has been implicated in schizophrenia from human brain tissue samples that reveal a decrease in size compared to samples from donors without a history of the disease. Furthermore, we are working to highlight the role of perturbations during development on the pathophysiology of psychiatric illnesses.

The lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine thalamocortical circuits in developing brains. This cell-to-system approach allows us to build upon extensive cellular knowledge and techniques and apply these even more complex neuronal connections. With these tools we aim to elucidate the pathogenesis of these intricate disruptions to neural networks that have been shown to be altered in human patients.

Our lab is located on the third floor of the Silvio Conte Building (49) within the main Bethesda campus of the National Institutes of Health. Our lab space includes newly designed cell culture, microscopy, and behavioral areas. Our lab launched in June of 2022, and we are excited to be fully up and running. Watch this space.

For more information and to learn more about opportunities with the lab please contact Dr. Bourne at

Interesting in completing a post-bacc with the Section on Cellular and Cognitive Neurodevelopment? Learn more about the application process here .