Laboratory of Neural Genetics and Disease

The McCabe Laboratory investigates motor neuroscience – the biology, activity and disorders of the motor system.

Light Sheet microscopy image of Drosophila Larval Ventral Nerve cord

Motor Neurobiology in Health and Disease

The research in our laboratory is directed towards the dual goals of understanding the biology of the neuronal circuit networks and interconnecting synapses that comprise the motor system, and exploiting this knowledge to ameliorate neurodegenerative motor system disorders. Motor circuits are fundamental for complex animal life and are thought to be among the most ancient of all neuronal assemblies. No matter how cerebral, all human cognitive activity must be precisely translated via motor circuits to allow its expression; be it through movement, in writing or via speech. However, our current understanding of the development, ensemble activity and maintenance of the synapses and circuits that comprise the motor system remains limited, not least in how these processes are depleted by age or by a range of neurodegenerative diseases including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as motor neuron disease.