Epigenetic control of neuronal identity and longevity
Our research focuses on identifying the epigenetic basis of neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. We study how miRNAs and histone modifying enzymes contribute to the establishment and maintenance of neuronal identity and specialized functions. We are particularly interested in understanding the epigenetic mechanisms of cellular plasticity and its role in regulation of microglia-neuron communication. Our most recent work aims at elucidating the contribution of regional microglia heterogeneity to complex behaviors such as reward and cognition. We found that regional microglia specification is epigenetically maintained and is required for the maintenance of neuronal function and survival.