Development, evolution and disorders of the mammalian brain
The long-standing objective of research in Rakic laboratory is to understand the cellular events and molecular mechanism that govern development of the mammalian central nervous system (rodents, non-human primates and human). One line of investigation focus on the fundamental issue of the regulation of the cell proliferation and death (apoptosis) that determine the number of neurons allocated to the building of the cerebral cortex. The other series of studies concern molecular mechanisms involved in neuronal migration including cell-cell recognition, neuron glia-interaction and nuclear translocation that leads to their settling to the final areal, radial ad laminar position in the cerebral cortex. Our studies are aimed to a better understanding of cortical developmental as well as pathogeneis of neurological and psychiatric disorders that occur during prenatal and long postnatal development in humans.
Dr. Pasko Rakic received his MD and PhD from Belgrade University (former Yugoslavia) where he was Assistant Professor before emigrating to USA at Harvard Medical School, where he was on the faculty for 8 years. He then moved to Yale University where he was founder and Chairman of the Department of Neurobiology and Director of the Kavli Institute for Neuroscience. He is presently full time endowed McConnel Duberg professor.