The developing mammalian brain is one of the most dynamic of biological systems involving numerous cell types each with its own repertoire of gene expression and behavior. Our program is focused on the cerebellum as a model brain structure to investigate the genetic regulation of gene expression and the cellular programs that drive cerebellar development. With a simple cellular architecture the cerebellum provides a canvas to explore complex and highly stereotype developmental programs. Thus, our goal is to define expression patterns of genes and gene networks in time (across development) and in space (across cell populations) using genetic, molecular, and bioinformatic tools. We have initiated this work by creating (and gathering) gene expression datasets derived from cerebellar tissue from distinct sets of mouse models, including standard inbred mouse strains, recombinant inbred mouse lines, and mouse lines with specific genetic lesions know to affect cerebellar development.
GRiTS (Gene Regulation in Time and Space) is continually developing set of new and innovative bioinformatic tools designed for the discovery of the genetic regulatory networks at work in the developing cerebellum. GRiTS enables the researcher to explore various gene expression datasets and to compare the results of these explorations across different genetic models. The end result is to identify sets of genes based on expression patterns and identify relationships between genes and cellular processes during development.
Over time, GRiTS will include a host of set of new and innovative tools that can be used to:
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