My clinical practice and laboratory focus on understanding the genetic basis of memory and cognition. In the clinic we are consulted by children with developmental delay and mental retardation and identify genetic defects to draw phenotype-genotype correlation. Then, in the laboratory, we combine a forward and reverse genetic approach with the economy of scale of the Drosophila model system. Automation of well parametized olfactory classical conditioning allows us to study the molecular and genetic basis of long-term plasticity. Considering that the genetic components underlying this form of memory in Drosophila have proved to be evolutionarily conserved and also involved in several forms of human cognitive disorders, we will then translate the knowledge gained in the laboratory into novel therapeutic approach for the patients seen in the clinic.
Finally, through collaboration with various health professionals, we hope to improve the clinical practice of pediatric neurogenetics and provide complete care to the children.