Bio-X Affiliated Faculty

Dr. Hallmayer and Dr. Ricardo Dolmetsch's laboratory studies the underlying neurobiology of autism and other neuro-developmental disorders.  They are particularly interested in understanding how electrical activity and calcium signals control the development of the brain and how this is altered in children with autism spectrum disorders. They are also developing new tools to study and repair the developing brain.  There are four major projects in our lab:

  1. Autism: we are using induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients to generate human neurons and study the underlying biological basis of neuro-developmental disorders. They are also developing mouse and fly models of autism spectrum disorders.
  2. Calcium channels: They are investigating how neurons regulate calcium signals and how this is altered in neurodegenerative diseases. They are also studying the Orai family of calcium channels and their regulation by Stim proteins.
  3. Development: They are investigating how calcium channels activate signaling cascades that control gene expression, neuronal differentiation, migration  and survival. 
  4. New Technologies: They are developing new technologies to study the development of neurons and developing new pharmaceuticals that regulate calcium channels and that may be useful for treating autism and other diseases.