I’m happy to announce that I’ve just started my own lab at MIT, in the Dept. of Brain & Cognitive Sciences and the Picower Institute for Learning & Memory. The goal of our research is to understand how the nervous system generates behaviors that last for long durations of time.

The fundamental processes that neurons use to communicate with one another, like neurotransmitter release, occur over the time scale of milliseconds, yet the brain has a remarkable ability to generate behaviors that last for seconds, minutes, or even hours. We study neural circuits in C. elegans with the goal of elucidating molecular, cellular, and circuit mechanisms that underlie the generation of long-lasting behavioral states. In addition, we are interested in understanding how the neural circuits that generate these states incorporate physiological and environmental cues. In our research, we use genetics, gene expression profiling, optogenetics, neuronal calcium imaging, and quantitative behavioral analysis to address these questions.

Positions are available at all levels! We are trying to build a research group where inspired scientists can achieve their goals while receiving support and training throughout their time in the lab. Write to Steve Flavell if interested: flavell@mit.edu.