Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania

Fuccillo Lab

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Is there a molecular logic to the composition of circuits mediating behavioral control?

The selection of appropriate behavioral output depends on the integration of inputs from prefrontal, multimodal sensory and motor cortices, amygdala, hippocampus, hypothalamus, as well as dopaminergic and serotonergic neuromodulatory systems. Do these circuits possess unique molecular architectures that bestow specific synaptic connectivity, modulation and function? 

To address these questions, we employ viral and genetic circuit tracing techniques coupled with single-cell and population transcriptional profiling. 

(Left) Circuit tracing approach using retrogradely transported Rabies Virus to label thalamic and prefrontal inputs to the nucleus accumbens core. (Right) Single-cell transcriptional profiling of individual neurons exhibiting population-specific expression of five representative mRNA transcripts.