Ben Gonzales

Ben Gonzales

PhD Student

I did my undergraduate studies In Medical Laboratory Sciences at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, and took part in research in the lab of Dr. Clayutus Davis, addressing the presence of natural killer cells in the developing embryo, and whether they can be induced by external virus infection before natural maturation of the innate immune system. I next pursued my MSc in developmental biology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in the lab of Professor Nissim Ben-Arie, researching how the attenuation of Foxa2-Nato3 signaling affects the maintenance and survival of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in the adult mouse. I am now studying towards my PhD in the Citri lab, researching the formation of habit and how it may progress to pathological forms as in OCD and drug abuse. I use molecular tools such as single molecule fluorescence in-situ hybridization (smFISH) and virus mediated connectivity mapping to identify principles of neuronal ensemble formation and the circuits in which they are embedded in the mouse brain, and then manipulate identified circuits using opto- and chemo-genetics to uncover their roles in diverse behaviors.  Through this research I wish to elucidate common mechanisms of learning and neuronal ensemble formation linking and underlying healthy and exaggerated forms of habit.

Supervisors

Contact information

Goodman Bldg. 1st floor. The Citri Lab.