The brain’s connectivity determines our ability to perceive the world around us. This connectivity is largely defined by synapses, the sites where neurons transmit signals to one other. Synapses provide the basic means for neuronal communication, and are bridged by molecular bundles, called cell-adhesion molecules. Although several hundred such molecules exist, there seems to be a particular logic to the way they are associated with different synapses. Because of this intriguing organization, cell-adhesion molecules are presumed to serve as the ‘connectivity code’ for circuits of the brain.
Such a connectivity code is important for normal brain structure and function, and its corruption by molecular or genetic ‘errors’ underlies many neurological and neuropsychiatric disorders. Using multiple approaches, measuring neuronal activity with electrophysiological recordings as well as molecular expression profiling of single cells, we explore the connectivity code and map circuits on a molecular bases. Our ultimate goal is to predict the structure and function of fully assembled neuronal circuits using genetic information.
Csaba Földy is an Assistant Professor and a Co-Director of the Brain Research Institute. He studied physics in Budapest, Hungary, and then received his Ph.D. in Neurosciences at UC Irvine, USA. As a postdoctoral fellow, he joined the laboratories of Profs. Thomas C. Südhof and Robert C. Malenka at Stanford University, USA, where he started to work on cell-adhesion molecule signaling and developed combined approaches for electrophysiological and molecular profiling of single neurons. In 2014, he received an ERC Starting Grant (later replaced by and SNF - ERC Transfer Grant).