Research in the Davila-Velderrain Group combines theoretical and computational tools with single-cell genomic measurements to characterize and study the cellular complexity of the brain and its vulnerabilities. We aim to contribute to our understanding of how brain cells acquire functional identities during development; and why, despite evolved robustness and plasticity, cell circuit functionality becomes impaired in neuropathology.
We use the human brain as a model system to reveal fundamental concepts about the systems-level mechanisms of cellular identity and cell state dynamics, and the brains of diverse model organisms to reveal conserved and divergent human brain properties.
From a methodological perspective, we are interested in developing and employing computational technologies integrating tools and concepts from machine learning, network theory, and statistical physics to produce conceptually intuitive resources of value for the life-science community.
Research group leader