Nelson Spruston

Sr. Director, Scientific Programs

My lab investigates the neurobiological underpinnings of memory-guided behavior in mice. When I first came to Janelia, all our work was done in vitro (physiology and anatomy in tissue slices) and in silico (computer modeling of neurons).

Over the past several years, we have shifted to studying the same neurons in vivo, in the brains of mice performing memory-guided behaviors. This was enabled, in no small measure, by the help we got from our exceptional colleagues and support teams at Janelia. I am excited to watch and facilitate this transformation for others who study cells throughout the body. In my lab, we will extend our approach—studying different types of cells in behaving animals— from neurons to other cell types. The brain is a partner with other physiological systems in the service of driving adaptive behaviors that promote survival, reproduction, and species viability. Our goal is to understand how the specialized properties of different cell types contribute to collective cellular interactions that mediate a host of cellular computations and physiological functions. We will continue to combine a variety of cutting-edge approaches (some of which have been and will be developed by our colleagues at Janelia) to tackle the exceptional challenge of understanding how a host of cellular instruments work together in the orchestra of animal life. 

Spruston Lab website