Genetic staining of vomeronasal subpopulations with defined functions.
Ivan Rodriguez is exploring the neuronal circuits which are controlling innate behaviors in mammals.
Ivan Rodriguez and his team are interested in how mammals extract socially relevant information from the outside world, and how this information is translated into an adequate behavior. In order to gain insight into the logic of sensory perception, they study the vomeronasal circuit, a neuronal system involved in pheromone recognition that plays a crucial role in peer-mediated neuroendrocine effects and instinctive behaviors. The sensory part of this circuit, the vomeronasal organ, is located in the nasal cavity and is composed of neurons that express specialized chemoreceptors. These receptors represent key elements in the elaboration of a functional vomeronasal system. They indeed play a dual role, since they are directly implicated in both chemodetection and in the establishment of a functional vomeronasal axonal projection map in the brain.
Ivan Rodriguez’s lab explores this system in the mouse by using a genetic door offered by the remarkable and still unexplained regulation of the genes coding for these receptors: one unique gene from a single parental allele is expressed per neuron.
• 1996 Ph. D. in Biology, Genève University, Switzerland, Pierre Vassalli's lab
• 1997-2001 Post-doctoral fellow, The Rockefeller University, NYC, USA, Peter Mombaert's lab
• 2002 Appointed Professor, Genève University, Switzerland
Semaine du Cerveau 2013
Oct 2015, Nat Neurosci.