We explore the molecular and cellular bases of the neural circuits that direct innate behaviors in mammals.
Our research uses the mouse as a model, and is particularly interested in the olfactory system, the activation of which induces innate and stereotyped behaviors in many species. These include for example aggression between males, sexual interactions between individuals of the opposite sex, escape when facing predators, or avoidance of sick conspecifics.
We use a variety of approaches ranging from transcriptomic screens to the generation of transgenic mice. In these genetically modified animals for example, we visualize and modulate the activity of specific neuronal circuits to identify those involved in the studied behavior, define their organization, and understand their functioning.