The main focus of the Arenkiel Lab is to elucidate the basic genetic, molecular, and cellular mechanisms that guide the formation, function, and maintenance of neural circuits in the mammalian brain. We use a multifaceted approach in the mouse model that combines genetic engineering, viral mapping, optical imaging, and electrophysiological recording techniques.
Currently, we are pursuing 3 primary areas of interest:
1) Determining the role of activity and neuropeptides in circuit formation of adult-born neurons.
2) Mapping the anatomical and functional circuits involved in olfaction and feeding.
3) Revealing the neural mechanisms that govern olfactory and feeding behaviors.
We emphasize continual development of novel tools and techniques to mark and manipulate specific neurons and their associated circuits.
The long-term objective of the Arenkiel Lab is to gain knowledge towards repairing or replacing damaged or diseased nervous tissue.