RNA control of neural development, physiology and behaviour

The Alonso Lab investigates the molecular mechanisms controlling gene function in the developing and mature nervous system.

Our work is focused on the regulatory roles of RNA, with the view of establishing the mechanisms and roles of RNA regulation on the formation and function of the brain. On-going experiments are also exploring how RNA regulatory processes affect neurodegeneration and the control of behaviour.

Over the last several years the lab has studied the function and regulation of a specific group of genes, the Hox genes, which encode a family of transcriptional regulators that are evolutionary conserved all the way from insects to mammals. The Hox genes play particularly important roles during the development of the nervous system, but these genes also have key functions after development has concluded, offering us an excellent biological context where to explore our molecular questions on the mechanisms and roles of RNA control in the brain.

Current work in the lab investigates: (i) the molecular mechanisms underlying the function of microRNAs in the nervous system, (ii) the biological roles of the Hox genes and microRNAs in neural development, physiology and behaviour; (iii) the contributions of microRNA regulation to neural disease; and (iv) the similarities and differences in the molecular control of neurons as they transition from the developing to the mature (post-mitotic) state.

If you are interested in these areas, or wish to develop an independent postdoctoral project in my lab, do get in contact (see details below).


Informal enquiries about the Alonso Lab should be addressed to Claudio Alonso by email: