My laboratory studies brain development, neuronal diversity, and neural circuit plasticity. The basis for my research program today is built upon a discovery that I made in graduate school at UC San Diego. Working in Jerold Chun‘s lab (with an incredibly talented group of scientists who are now old friends), we found that some neurons in a brain have different genomes than other neurons in that brain. This showed that an additional component of neuronal diversity is genomic diversity. After graduate school, I joined Carla Shatz’s lab (then at Harvard Medical School, and later at Stanford University) where I trained in neural circuit development and plasticity, and made some modest contributions to our understanding of MHCI function in neurons. During this time my fascination with genomic diversity in neural circuits never waned, and I returned to San Diego to further study neuronal genomes as a Crick-Jacobs Junior Fellow at the Salk Institute. Here, I developed single cell genomic approaches to better measure neuronal genomes, and I trained in stem cell technology with a neural stem cell pioneer, Rusty Gage.
McConnell, M.J., Lindberg, M.R., Brennand, K.J., Piper, J.C., Voet, T., Cowing-Zitron, C., Schumilina, S., Lasken, R.S., Vermeesch, J. R., Hall, I.M., and F.H. Gage. (2013). Mosaic copy number variation in human neurons. Science. 342(6148):632-637.
Datwani, A., McConnell, M.J., Kanold, P.O., Micheva, K.D., Busse, B., Shamloo, M., Smith, S.J., and C.J. Shatz. (2009). Classical MHCI molecules regulate retinogeniculate refinement and limit ocular dominance plasticity. Neuron. 64:463-470.
McConnell, M.J.*, Huang. Y.H.*, Datwani, A. and C.J. Shatz. (2009). H2-Kb and H2-Db regulate cerebellar long term depression and limit motor learning. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 106(16): 6784-6789.
McConnell, M.J., MacMillan, H.R., and J. Chun. (2009). Mathematical modeling supports substantial mouse neural progenitor cell death. Neural Development. 4: 28.
McConnell, M.J., Kaushal, D., Yang, A.H., Kingsbury, M.A., Rehen, S.K., Treuner, K., Helton, R., Annas, E., Chun, J., and C. Barlow. (2004). Failed clearance of aneuploid embryonic neural progenitor cells leads to excess aneuploidy in the Atm-deficient but not the Trp53-deficient adult cerebral cortex. The Journal of Neuroscience. 24(37): 8090 – 8096.
Rehen, S.K.,* McConnell, M.J.,* Kaushal, D.,* Kingsbury, M.A., Yang, A.H., and J. Chun. (2001). Chromosomal variation in neurons of the developing and adult mammalian nervous system. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA. 98(23): 13361 -13366.