Research in our lab employs a multidisciplinary approach to pursue two major aims: 1) to define the molecular, anatomical, and functional distinctions of neuronal subpopulations in the nervous system that control specific behaviors; and 2) to identify and characterize genes that direct the assembly and maintenance of neural circuits. These general issues are examined through the analysis of local and long-range circuits in subcortical brain centers important for coordination and refinement of movement, motor learning, and complex motivated behaviors using genetic and viral circuit tracing, neural manipulations, imaging and behavioral approaches in mice.
Funding: NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, The Brain Initiative, National Institute on Aging; Foundation for Prader-Willi Research.
Albert Chen is an Associate Professor at the Scintillon Institute and Adjunct Associate Professor at the Salk Institute. Before joining Scintillon, he was an Assistant Professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. Albert received his undergraduate degree at the University of Illinois and Ph.D. from Columbia University where he examined the specification of motor neuron subtype identity and sensory neuron axonal targeting in the spinal cord. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco, he transitioned to studying supraspinal motor structures, exploring the molecular mechanisms underlying the assembly and maintenance of neural circuits in the cerebellum, a brain region critical for sensorimotor integration and voluntary motor control. @aic2002