Torii Laboratory

About the Lab

Brain development consists of multiple dynamic processes ranging from cell type specification, proliferation, differentiation and migration, to neural circuit formation and refinement. Each of these processes has vulnerability to various genetic and environmental factors that cause structural and functional abnormalities in the brain.

The goal of our research is to decipher the complex mechanisms in which these factors impact normal brain development and to translate our findings into the development of novel therapeutic approaches for neurodevelopmental disorders such as schizophrenia and autism.

Our current interests include the mechanisms in which various neuronal subtypes are assembled into functional neural networks in the cerebral cortex, and how they go awry in neurodevelopmental disorders. Our lab uses combinations of cutting-edge tools and techniques, including in utero gene transfer, transgenic reporter mice, electrophysiology, proteomic and transcriptomic analyses, and encapsulation and transplantation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived neural cells into the brain.