Studies the development and organization of neural circuits in the mouse cerebral cortex. His team uses an integrated approach to identify neuronal cell types and discover how they interact to process information and guide behavior, focusing on the motor cortex that controls forelimb movement. His studies of inhibitory interneurons, such as chandelier cells, have implications for understanding schizophrenia and autism.
Josh Huang and colleagues study the assembly and function of neural circuits in the neocortex of the mouse. The neocortex consists of a constellation of functional areas that form a representational map of the external (sensory, social) and internal (visceral, emotional) world. These areas are strategically interconnected into elaborate information processing networks that guide behavior. The group’s overarching hypothesis is that, at the cellular level, cortical processing streams and output channels are mediated by a large set of distinct glutamatergic pyramidal neuron types, and functional neural ensembles are regulated by a diverse set of GABAergic interneuron types. Understanding cortical circuit organization requires comprehensive knowledge of these basic cellular components. The Huang lab uses state-of-the-art genetic approaches to systematically target cell types and facilitate the application of a full set of modern techniques for exploring cortical circuits. Among GABAergic interneurons, the chandelier cell is one of the most distinctive cell type that controls pyramidal neuron firing at the axon initial segment. Huang and colleagues are studying the developmental specification, activity-dependent circuit integration, and functional connectivity of chandelier cells, an entry point towards understanding a local circuit module. Regarding pyramidal neurons, they are systematically characterizing the developmental origin, axon projection pattern, and input connectivity of multiple classes of pyramidal neuron types, focusing on the forelimb motor cortex. They combine a range of approaches that include genetic and viral engineering, genetic fate mapping, gene expression profiling, cellular imaging, electrophysiology, and behavior analysis. Recently, they begin to integrate their studies in the context of the motor cortex control of forelimb movements.
2015: Special Lecture, Society of Neuroscience Annual Meeting, Chicago
2013: President’s Plenary Lecture, American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP), Florida
2011-2012: Distinguished Investigator, NARSAD-Brain and Behavior Research Foundation
2007–2017: Simon’s Investigator; Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative
2010: Plenary Lecture, Society of Biological Psychiatry 65th Annual Meeting, New Orleans
2007-2010: Harold & Leila Mathers Foundation Award
2004–2007: McKnight Scholar Award in Neuroscience
2004–2006: EJLB Foundation Award
2002–2005: Pew Scholar Award
2004-2007: March of Dime Birth Defect Foundation Award
2001-2004: Whitehall Foundation Award
NIH grant awarded for interneuron research
April 4, 2019
CSHL postdoc Maggie Crow will use her NIH grant to pursue the quantification and analysis of specific types of neurons in the brain.
New cell subtypes classified in mouse brain
March 12, 2019
To map a brain, an intuitive system for classifying neuron types is necessary. Now, a promising approach reveals new cell subtypes in the mouse brain.
The miracle of brain development
August 16, 2018
In a series of 8 stunning images, CSHL scientists enable us to share the miracle of a brain as it self-assembles
One experiment: Building a brain
August 16, 2018
A genetic program precisely guides development of a part of the brain
Portrait of a Neuroscience Powerhouse
April 27, 2018
A relatively small neuroscience group at CSHL is having an outsized impact on a dynamic and highly competitive field
A lesson in class
December 15, 2017
In this episode of Base Pairs, we discuss how genetic information is changing how we define important categories.
One experiment: A beautiful brain, neuron by neuron
November 22, 2017
Associate Professor Pavel Osten and colleagues discovered using their qBrain method is discerned by probing hidden relations among the dots.
For brain cells, you are who you speak to
October 31, 2017
Tracking a person entails searching through their email, phone, and other means of communication to map out their network. To do this for a brain cell
New leadership roles in BRAIN Initiative and International Brain Lab reflect CSHL’s excellence in neuroscience
October 24, 2017
The BRAIN Initiative Cell Census Network establishes a Center and a Collaboratory for the Mouse Brain Cell Atlas at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Neuron types in the brain are defined by gene activity that shapes their communication patterns
September 21, 2017
Neurons are defined by determining which cells they connect with and how they communicate across synapses
Lu, J. and Tucciarone, J. and Padilla-Coreano, N. and He, M. and Gordon, J. A. and Huang, Z. J. (2017) Selective inhibitory control of pyramidal neuron ensembles and cortical subnetworks by chandelier cells. Nat Neurosci, 20(10) pp. 1377-1383.
Paul, A. and Crow, M. and Raudales, R. and He, M. and Gillis, J. and Huang, Z. J. (2017) Transcriptional Architecture of Synaptic Communication Delineates GABAergic Neuron Identity. Cell,
He, M. and Tucciarone, J. and Lee, S. and Nigro, M. J. and Kim, Y. and Levine, J. M. and Kelly, S. M. and Krugikov, I. and Wu, P. and Chen, Y. and Gong, L. and Hou, Y. and Osten, P. and Rudy, B. and Huang, Z. J. (2016) Strategies and Tools for Combinatorial Targeting of GABAergic Neurons in Mouse Cerebral Cortex. Neuron, 91(6) pp. 1228-1243.
Taniguchi, H. and Lu, J. and Huang, Z. J. (2013) The spatial and temporal origin of chandelier cells in mouse neocortex. Science, 339(6115) pp. 70-4.
Ango, F. and di Cristo, G. and Higashiyama, H. and Bennett, V. and Wu, P. and Huang, Z. J. (2004) Ankyrin-based subcellular gradient of neurofascin, an immunoglobulin family protein, directs GABAergic innervation at purkinje axon initial segment. Cell, 119(2) pp. 257-72.Additional materials of the author at
CSHL Institutional Repository