Bio-X Graduate Student Fellow

Awarded in 2017
Home Department: Neurosciences
Faculty Advisors: Marc Tessier-Lavigne (Biology) and Liqun Luo (Biology)

Research Title: Investigating the structural and molecular basis of functional plasticity in activity-defined circuits of the intact adult brain

Research Description: Neural circuits in the adult brain face competing demands: they must be stable enough to maintain critical functions over time, yet flexible enough to adapt to changes in an organism’s experience and environment. Maladaptive circuit plasticity following injury in the adult may account for perturbed sensory experience, such as chronic pain, while adaptive circuit plasticity can Photo of graduate student Eliza Adams in the lab, operating a computer and a microscope.accelerate recovery of function, such as after a stroke or neurodegeneration. Eliza’s research pairs novel genetic and viral strategies with a whole brain clearing and analysis pipeline developed in the Tessier-Lavigne lab (iDISCO+/ClearMap) to visualize global changes in network activity and specific changes in axonal anatomy following sensory deprivation. These techniques enable the 3D visualization, quantification, and manipulation of activity-defined circuits across the intact adult brain, with the goal of identifying mechanisms for the therapeutic modulation of circuit plasticity.


Eliza is Chief of Staff, VP Corporate Strategy, at Clarify Health.