Brielle Ferguson

Brielle Ferguson

Assistant Professor, Genetics and Neurology
Brielle Ferguson
Certain basic cognitive processes are central to navigating the world around us. Attention, for example is important for almost all of our conscious actions, yet there's so much we still don't know about the cell types and circuits that support it. Because of that, attention impairments remain one of the most commonly reported cognitive co-morbidities across neurodevelopmental, neurological, and psychiatric disorders. During my postdoc, I developed an attention task that can capture behavior differences in multiple genetic models of neurodevelopmental and psychiatric disorders. With this task, I have begun to identify markers of successful and dysfunctional attention that I am eager to characterize with a battery of systems neuroscience tools.

The Ferguson lab will work to discover and characterize biomarkers of successful and dysfunctional cognitive function by monitoring and manipulating relevant circuits using Calcium imaging, optogenetics, pharmacogenetics, various slice and in vivo electrophysiology approaches, and behavior. We'll examine these biomarkers in mice with mutations linked to autism-spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, and epilepsy to highlight shared signatures of cognitive dysfunction. We are particularly interested in the role of interneurons in regulating neuronal ensembles critical for completing various cognitive tasks. A long-term goal is to identify therapeutic targets for treating patient populations across disease contexts with treatment-resistant cognitive impairments.

Contact Information

Harvard Medical School
CLS 13073
300 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115