DePaul – Rosalind Franklin University
Our group for the DePaul – Rosalind Franklin University Partnership.
Neurons in the brainstem reticular formation govern vital motor behaviors such as breathing, vocalization, swallowing, and chewing. Disruption of these circuits in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative disorders can lead to central apneas, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, dysphagia, and speech disorders. Critical for understanding these neural circuits is identification and localization of reticular subpopulations controlling these myriad functions. This proposal has two main AIMS. In AIM 1, apply machine learning to cluster reticular formation neurons into groups based on three-dimensional proximity and similarities in their gene expression profiles using data from the open access Allen Institute mouse database (~20,000 distinct genes, 200 μm voxel resolution) and validated, high resolution, immunohistochemical specimens from transgenic double reporter mice. In AIM 2, use cellular electrophysiology to determine whether neurons within clusters identified by machine learning have similar functional intrinsic properties and whether neurons in adjacent clusters are functionally distinct. The contributions of the proposed research are:
- a novel application of machine learning for structural discovery in the nervous system, akin to an unbiased neuroanatomical “screen,” that will be rigorously validated with electrophysiology, and
- identification of a number of novel subpopulations underlying functional control of behaviors critical for survival. The overall impact of this proposal will be a highly innovative application of machine learning to neuroscience discovery that may be applied to tissues throughout the body and the elucidation of fundamental principles governing the organization of the brainstem.
Dr. Kaiwen Kam, Associate Professor, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Dr. Thiru Ramaraj, Assistant Professor, SoC, JCDM, DePaul University
Dr. Jacon Furst, Professor, SoC, JCDM, DePaul University
Babita Thadari, Ph.D. Candidate, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Jordan Skach, Ph.D. Candidate, Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
Naga Harivadana Kalapatapu, MS Student, Data Science, SoC, JCDM, DePaul University
Eddie Cojulun, BS Student, Data Science, SoC, JCDM, DePaul University