As Canada Research Chair in Developmental Neurobiology, Dr. Kota Mizumoto’s research program aims to understand how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with their neighboring cells to form a functional neural network. Neurons communicate with their target cells through specialized interfaces called synapses. Miscommunication between neurons causes various neurological conditions.
Mizumoto and his team are working to understand basic principles of brain development. They are using neurons of Caenorhabditis elegans?roundworms?as a model system to uncover the genetic and molecular mechanisms of synapse formation. Their findings will help other researchers test if similar mechanisms are present in animal models with more complex nervous system, such as mice.