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The O'Leary Lab

Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies
10010 North Torrey Pines Rd.
La Jolla, CA 92037
lab : (858) 453-4100 ext. 2042

Dr. Dennis O'Leary, a Professor in the Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, studies development and plasticity of the vertebrate nervous system. Among the issues that Dr. O'Leary's research team focuses on are: (1) forebrain development and patterning, especially the specification and differentiation of the functionally specialized areas of the cortex and related parts of the brain and spinal cord, and (2) axon guidance and development of neural maps, particularly between the eye and the brain. His group also have strong interests in stem cell biology and the effects of developmental plasticity on behavioral performance. Among their findings is the first demonstration of the genetic control of area patterning of the neocortex and the genes that specify the identities of the primary areas that process sensory information and control motor output. In addition, Dr. O'Leary's group has defined roles for the first guidance molecules that control the development of neural mapping, the Ephs and ephrins. Their work has made novel relationships between neural plasticity and behavioral performance. Dr. O'Leary's goal is to understand fundamental developmental events, and to use this knowledge to make the most efficient theraputic use of stem cell biology and to design effective strategies to overcome birth defects, neurological diseases and disorders, and neural injury.

O'Leary Lab Photo

From left to right: Kyucheol Cho, Yoo-Shick Lim, Daichi Kawaguchi, Adam Stocker, Carlos G. Perez-
Garcia, Dennis O’Leary, Todd McLaughlin, Andreas Zembrzycki, Berta Higgins, Haydee Gutierrez,
B Beckett