Our Labs and Programs
The Dobyns Lab is focused on understanding the clinical, molecular and biological basis of developmental disorders, including autism, epilepsy and hydrocephalus.
The Ferguson Lab investigates the development of behaviors associated with drug reward and addiction.
The Hahn Laboratory develops and validates tests that help screen for, diagnose and monitor childhood disorders including mitochondrial diseases, Wilson disease and primary immunodeficiencies.
The Kalume Laboratory investigates the mechanisms that drive epilepsy and related conditions, with the goal of making discoveries that lead to improved treatments for affected children and adults.
The Millen Lab uses molecular genetic approaches to explore the pathogenesis of congenital brain defects in humans and mice.
The Mirzaa Laboratory pinpoints the genes that contribute to many neurodevelopmental disorders, opening the door to new treatments.
The Morgan Laboratory pioneered the use of C. elegans- a simple invertebrate – to understand the relationship between mitochondrial dysfunction and anesthetics. By investigating how volatile anesthetics trigger a range of behaviors in mutant animals, the Morgan laboratory identified key molecules that control how C. elegansresponds to anesthetics. His laboratory is actively investigating molecules that can reverse shortened life spans and neurological defects in animals with mitochondrial dysfunction.
The Olson Lab is unraveling how changes in cardiac energy production affect heart function, leading to innovative treatments for heart disease.
Portman Research Group
The Portman Research Group is developing innovative ways to protect children's hearts from damage related to heart surgery, and is improving how the medical community understands and treats Kawasaki disease.
The Ramirez Lab investigates brain functions in order to develop new ways to treat – and potentially cure – neurological disorders.
Dr. Russell Saneto's research focuses on improving detection and treatment of pediatric epilepsies caused by mitochondrial dysfunction. He is also interested in using non-invasive neuroimaging modalities, such as proton magnetic resonance imaging (1H-MRS) and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to understand how mitochondrial disease can alter brain development due to alteration of neuronal metabolism and myelination.
Building on work in C. elegans, Dr. Margaret Sedensky's team has found that disrupting mitochondrial function in mice causes them to be hypersensitive to gas anesthetics. The Sedensky Laboratory has characterized a particular mutant and is actively investigating it. This mutant has unusual behaviors when exposed to several commonly-used anesthetics. The Sedensky Laboratory is working closely with the Morgan Laboratory to study this exciting animal model.
Led by Dr. Stephen E.P. Smith, the SEPS Lab is working to uncover what the gene variations that contribute to autism have in common.
The Turner Lab is defining brain pathways underlying motivation, emotion and addiction, and using genetic and optogenetic strategies to map brain circuits in mice.
The Welsh Lab is dedicated to researching why children with autism struggle with language development.
Program in Mitochondrial Biology
The Program in Mitochondrial Biology conducts research that pursues cures for mitochondrial diseases, while providing the best possible care for patients and their families.
Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies Team
The Neonatal Respiratory Support Technologies (NeoRest) team is working to reduce infant mortality and morbidity by developing affordable, easy-to-use and easy-to-maintain respiratory support solutions. The team's goal is to revolutionize the way premature infants are treated in resource-limited countries.