Sonia Garel

The Project

Wiring the forebrain: roles and mechanisms of tangential cell migration in the basal ganglia


Dr. Sonia Garel
INSERM U784 / Ecole Normale Supérieure
46, rue d’Ulm
75005 Paris

Sonia Garel, 35 year-old French citizen, is an independent young investigator at Paris’ Ecole Normale Supérieure, studying forebrain regionalisation and formation of thalamocortical projections. 

Dr. Garel gained her PhD in molecular and cellular pharmacology at the University of Paris VI, which she followed by a postdoctoral stay at the University of California San Francisco. She moved back to France to develop an independent line of research and was awarded a Career Development Award from Human Frontier Science Organisation.

Project Description

Understanding how neural circuits are elaborated during mammalian forebrain development is essential in order to gain insights into its normal functioning and to progress in our comprehension of neurological and psychiatric disorders. Garel and her team have recently shown that the two processes of cell migration and axon guidance are coordinated to ensure the proper formation of a major axonal tract of the mouse forebrain. This study revealed a novel role of cell migration in axonal guidance and thereby opened new perspectives on the emergence of forebrain connectivity.

The goal of this project is to gain a comprehensive view of the molecular events governing tangential cell migration within the basal ganglia and its roles in the elaboration of neural circuits. Using a combination of approaches they will generate a novel framework to understand how forebrain connectivity is established during normal and pathological development.