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Cell and Molecular Biology
My laboratory’s long-term goal is to understand how environmental signals shape somatosensory neuron (SSN) structure and function. SSNs shape our experience of the world, allowing for perception and discrimination of pain, touch, pressure, and movement, and are a focal point of a growing human health crisis. Nearly twenty million Americans suffer from peripheral neuropathies, and one in three individuals in the U.S. will suffer from chronic pain.
Many biological phenomena arise from the scaling from individual interactions (e.g., between genes, proteins, metabolites, cells including neurons, organs, organisms, and species) to systems. Network approaches have transformed the study of such systems, given that the structure of networks is typically non-random and often strongly related to system-level functioning and response to perturbations. Still, many network structural features are associated with clear trade-offs.