Rachel Wilson, the HMS Martin Family Professor of Basic Research in the Field of Neurobiology, works toward understanding how neural circuits in the brain process sensory information. Her current focus is to describe the neural circuitry of the auditory and olfactory systems in the fruit fly and how information is received, reformatted and transformed as it travels from one brain region to another. The ultimate goal of Rachel’s work is to define the pathologies in perception that arise from aberrations in the function and structure of specific neural circuits in the brain.
David Ginty, the HMS Edward R. and Anne G. Lefler Professor of Neurobiology and a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, studies the fundamental mechanisms that underlie the sense of touch. David uses a range of investigative approaches, including molecular genetics, circuit mapping and electrophysiological analyses to unravel the development, organization and function of the sensory neurons of touch and the spinal cord and brainstem circuits they engage. His work has recently brought about critical insights into mechanisms of sensory neuron activation, the functional organization of the spinal cord, and altered touch sensitivity in autism-spectrum disorders.