Welcome to the Walsh Lab
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Our research aims to better understand the genetic, molecular and circuit mechanisms underlying behavioral impairments present in autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The ultimate goal of the Walsh Lab is to gain detailed mechanistic knowledge of the neural circuits involved in the pathophysiology of ASD that could inform the development of novel therapeutics and more targeted treatment strategies.
For example, by studying how genetic and environmental disturbances lead to impaired sociability, we can elucidate the neural systems responsible for social interactions. Additionally, we utilize a systems level approach (including whole brain mapping, physiology, chemo- and optogenetics) in conjunction with transgenic mice to understand the causal relationships between activity in specific brain regions and the behavior under investigation.
Walsh JJ, Christoffel DJ, Ben-Dor GA, Selimbeyoglu A, Taylor M, Hung LW, Deisseroth K, Malenka RC. (2018) Nature.
Chaudhury D*, Walsh JJ*, Friedman AK, Juarez B, Ku SM, Koo JW, Ferguson D, Tsai HC, Pomeranz L, Christoffel DJ, Nectow AR, Ekstrand M, Domingos A, Mazei-Robison MS, Mouzon E, Lobo MK, Neve RL, Friedman JM, Russo SJ, Deisseroth K, Nestler EJ, Han MH. (2013) Nature.
Walsh JJ, Friedman AK, Sun H, Heller EA, Ku SM, Juarez B, Burnham VL, Mazei-Robison MS, Ferguson D, Golden SA, Koo JW, Chaudhury D, Christoffel DJ, Pomeranz L, Friedman JM, Russo SJ, Nestler EJ, Han MH. (2014) Nature Neuroscience.
Walsh JJ, Llorach P, Cardozo Pinto DF, Wenderski W, Christoffel DJ, Salgodo JS, Heifets BD, Crabtree GR, Malenka RC. (2021) Neuropsychopharmacology.
Christoffel DJ*, Walsh JJ*, Hoerbelt P*, Heifets BD, Llorach P, Lopez RC, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Malenka RC. (2021) Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.