Simone Mayer, PhD
|Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine||PhD||2014||Molecular Neurobiology|
|Georg August University Goettingen||Master of Science||2011||Molecular Biology|
|University of Cambridge||BA (hons)||2009||Physiology, Development, Neuroscience|
I received my BA in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK. I went on to study Molecular Biology at the International Max Planck Research School and received my MSc and PhD degrees from the University of Goettingen in Germany. During my graduate studies I performed a research project at Yale University in the lab of Dr. Nenad Sestan, where I showed that ANKRD32 is differentially expressed in human and mouse cortical development. My PhD work focused on the intracellular mechanisms that allow clustering of inhibitory neurotransmitter receptors at synapses. I found that the small GTPase TC10 triggers the recruitment of the scaffold protein gephyrin to synapses by activating the guanine nucleotide exchange factor collybistin. This work was guided by Dr. Theofilos Papadopoulos in the lab of Dr. Nils Brose at the Max Planck Institute of Experimental Medicine. I joined the lab of Dr. Arnold Kriegstein at UCSF as a postdoctoral researcher in 2015. My current research interest is in brain development and evolution. I am exploring the role of activated gene networks and cellular signaling in the germinal zones of the developing neocortex. Relating brain development to the evolutionary expansion of the neocortex has the potential to provide insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying the diverse brain disorders, for example brain tumors, that may have emerged as the cost of the expansion of the neocortex.
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