Illness does not start with symptoms, it starts with a biological event that triggers the path to disease. For many illnesses that event happens long before birth.
Dr. Goldowitz studies how genetic signals involved in the early development of the nervous system can cause neurodegenerative disease and brain disorders in children and adults. By understanding how the brain develops and is built, he will also be able understand how brain disorders develop.
“I am interested in how to put the brain together,” says Dr. Goldowitz. “By putting it together you come out with insights that you couldn’t achieve any other way.”
A major focus of his work is the application of molecular and bioinformatic technologies to study the entire gene regulatory network of the cerebellum, which is an area of the brain that is linked to autism, schizophrenia, mental retardation, and other brain disorders.
“For the ﬁrst time in the mammalian nervous system we will be able to come up with a blueprint for how to make a part of the brain,” explains Dr. Goldowitz.
And once he understands how to build it, researchers will be a lot closer to being able to ﬁx it.