Takao Hensch focuses on how neuronal circuits in the brain are shaped by experience during 'critical periods' in early postnatal life. Integrating molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience, primarily in the developing visual cortex, Hensch has revealed specific, local inhibitory (GABAergic) circuits that trigger a proteolytic reorganization of anatomical connections, which ultimately consolidate plasticity. Inappropriate excitatory-inhibitory balance may underlie devastating developmental brain disorders, such as epilepsy and autism. Translational research at Children's Hospital and the successful reactivation of plasticity in adulthood may lead to novel strategies for recovery of function, therapy and lifelong learning.
About Takao Hensch
Takao Hensch received his PhD from UCSF after training at Harvard, Univ. Tokyo (MPH) and the Max-Planck Institut (Fulbright Fellow). He is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from both the Japanese (2001 Tsukahara Prize) and US (2005) Society for Neuroscience.