I am a systems neuroscientist with a background in biophysics. The goal of my research is to understand how brain circuits mediate decision making to complex sensory input. We study how sensory processing areas of the olfactory and somatosensory systems handle information relevant to decision-making, and how they interact with downstream regions such as piriform cortex and amygdala (1, 2). In addition, we study the circuit basis for behavioral deficits in mild demyelination (3) and neurodevelopmental disorders. To tackle these questions we use an interdisciplinary approach employing awake behaving high density electrical recording, advanced microscopy, closed loop optogenetics and computational neuroscience. My laboratory is involved in developing novel approaches to study circuit function in robust collaborations with physicists and engineers. With Emily Gibson, we hold BRAIN initiative NIH and NSF grants for development of a miniature fiber coupled microscope (4) for recording and holographic optogenetic modification of neural activity and with Doug Shepherd and Wendy Macklin we developed C-DSLM, a novel approach to light sheet microscopy that allowed us to perform brain wide survey of oligodendrocytes(5).
I lead an exciting research environment where students and postdocs are exposed to state of the art approaches to neuroscience research. I have an open door policy in a laboratory where trainees develop independent projects, enjoy their research, obtain independent funding and have synergistic interactions with a diverse multidisciplinary research group. The trainee-initiated project often results in new venues of research that they take to their own laboratory.
1. Gire DH, Whitesell JD, Doucette W, Restrepo D. Information for decision-making and stimulus identification is multiplexed in sensory cortex. Nat Neurosci. 2013;16(8):991-3. Epub 2013/06/25. doi: 10.1038/nn.3432. PubMed PMID: 23792942; PMCID: PMC3725200
2. Guthman EM, Ma M, Chu P, Baca SM, Restrepo D, Huntsman MM. Cell type specific control of basolateral amygdala plasticity via feedforward inhibition. bioRxiv. 2018. doi: https://doi.org/10.1101/348524.
3. Gould EA, Busquet N, Shepherd D, Dietz RM, Herson PS, Simoes de Souza FM, Li A, George NM, Restrepo D, Macklin WB. Mild myelin disruption elicits early alteration in behavior and proliferation in the subventricular zone. Elife. 2018;7. Epub 2018/02/14. doi: 10.7554/eLife.34783. PubMed PMID: 29436368; PMCID: PMC5828668.
4. Ozbay BN, Futia GL, Ma M, Bright VM, Gopinath JT, Hughes EG, Restrepo D, Gibson EA. Three dimensional two-photon brain imaging in freely moving mice using a miniature fiber coupled microscope with active axial-scanning. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):8108. Epub 2018/05/29. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-26326-3. PubMed PMID: 29802371; PMCID: PMC5970169.
5. Ryan DP, Gould EA, Seedorf GJ, Masihzadeh O, Abman SH, Vijayaraghavan S, Macklin WB, Restrepo D, Shepherd DP. Automatic and adaptive heterogeneous refractive index compensation for light-sheet microscopy. Nat Commun. 2017;8(1):612. doi: 10.1038/s41467-017-00514-7. PubMed PMID: 28931809.