Michael Hart, Ph.D.

Michael Hart, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Genetics at the Perelman School of Medicine. Michael obtained his PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania working with Aaron Gitler on functional modeling of genetic variants associated with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. As a postdoc working with Oliver Hobert at Columbia University, Michael identified and characterized novel roles for neurexin and neuroligin in controlling a form of neuronal plasticity in C. elegans. The Hart lab studies neurexins and many other autism-associated genes that are conserved from humans to C. elegans. The goal of the lab is to understand how autism-associated genes can alter numerous behaviors by defining their molecular functions at specific synapses, neurons, and neuronal circuits. We are also comparing the functions and interactions of many of these genes across circuits and behaviors in parallel. These ongoing studies in C. elegans also provide a platform to test how variants found in the human genes impact their molecular function and ultimately behavior. For more information, visit www.mphartlab.com