Neuroscientist Lucas Cheadle joins the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSHL) faculty as an assistant professor. His research focus is on how sensory experience and the environment shape the developing brain.
The brain has always fascinated Cheadle, even as a child. “My mom really loves to tell the story that my first word was ‘eye’. I was just sitting on her lap, looking at her face and I couldn’t stop looking at her eyes,” he said. “She thinks that’s a fun story to tell people because now I study the visual system of the mouse.” This interest grew as he went into higher education, earning his Ph.D. from Yale University and working as a research fellow in neurobiology at Harvard Medical School.
Cheadle is currently interested in questions of how the environment impacts neural development and function, particularly in the visual system. Work on healthy brain development could lead to insights into how neurodevelopmental processes go awry in disorders like autism.
The choice to come work at CSHL was easy, according to Cheadle. “CSHL, in the neuroscience realm, is really focused on sensory experience,” he said. “I saw a tremendous opportunity to come in and link the higher-level systems-focused work already happening at the Lab with what I had been studying—the cellular and molecular mechanisms of sensory circuit development.”