Complex brains have evolved to produce many diverse neuron types, yet the fundamental mechanisms of how diversity emerges during development remains largely elusive. New technologies allow us to infer developmental trajectory from single-cell sequencing data. To resolve the underlying cell-fating mechanisms, however, we need to pinpoint where and when a particular cell fate is established. To do this, we need sophisticated genetic tools to map the cell’s lineage.
The Lee lab uses both invertebrate and vertebrate model systems to study neuronal lineage development and fating mechanisms. Ultimately, we aim to tailor neuronal lineages to engineer neural networks with desired functions and to improve cell therapy for neurodegenerative diseases.