Corbin Laboratory

About the Lab

How brain circuitry regulating specific behaviors emerges from development remains unknown. Research in the Corbin Laboratory of Developmental Neuroscience is directed toward addressing how genetic embryonic neurodevelopmental programs pattern development of circuitry of the limbic system, an interconnected set of brain structures that includes the olfactory system, amygdala and hypothalamus. Moreover, we are interested in the consequences of when these processes go awry, resulting in neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism spectrum disorders.

Using the mouse as a model, we employ a combination of techniques including embryology, genomic profiling, state-of-the-art circuit tracing and manipulation and behavior. The goal of our studies is not only to gain greater insight into the neurotypical developing brain but also to address core behavioral deficits in prevalent human neurodevelopmental disorders. We are also always looking for highly motivated, inquisitive individuals to join our diverse team of researchers, including hosting thesis students from the University of Maryland, College Park, Georgetown University and George Washington University.  

Developmental Regulation of Innate Behavior

Sokolowski et al. discovered that the embryonically expressed transcription factor Dbx1 plays a selective and critical role in the specification of the hypothalamic stress circuit and HPA axis function. These findings link embryonic patterning to manifestation of stress-induced behaviors.