Maxime Cazorla PhD

Course and current status

Current position

Principal Investivator, Institut de Neurosciences de La Timone, Aix-Marseille Univ, CNRS UMR7289


Previous positions

2014-2020  INSERM Research Scientist (CRCN), Grenoble Institute of Neuroscience, INSERM U1216, Grenoble, France

2012-2014  Postodc, Institut Curie, INSERM U1005, Orsay, France (Dr. F. Saudou)

2008-2012  Postdoc, Columbia University, Department of Psychiatry, New York, USA (Dr. C. Kellendonk)

2004-2008  PhD Student, University Paris VI, Center for Psychiatry and Neuroscience, INSERM U894, Paris, France (Drs P. Sokoloff and J. Premont)

2003-2004  Pregraduate Student, University Montpellier II, Institute of Human Genetics, CNRS UPR1142, Montpellier, France (Pr. S. Lehmann)



2008  PhD in Neuroscience (University Paris VI)

2004 Master in Biochemistry and Neuroscience (University Montpellier II)

Scientific summary

Studying network plasticity in health and disease

Deciphering the complex architecture of neural circuits is a major challenge in Neuroscience. What defines an optimal circuit? Are neuronal networks stable or can they evolve with experience and learning?

These fundamental questions have spawned breakthrough initiatives, such as the Human Brain Project (EU) and the Brain Activity Map (USA), which seek to better understand how the brain generates and transmits information. This seminal work has recently experienced an even greater level of complexity : pre-wired axonal circuits are not rigid. Instead, macrocircuits can dynamically re-structure to define new architecture patterns as the brain learns and evolves. This pioneering work, which contrasts with the traditional microcircuit scale of synaptic plasticity, has led to the emergence of the brain rewiring concept.

In the lab, we strive to understand (i) how neuronal activity regulates brain rewiring, (ii) how circuit remodeling allows optimal learning, and (iii) how it can be targeted to develop novel therapeutic approaches to treat various brain disorders associated with defects in connectivity.

Beyond its implication in fundamental science, our project may provide important insights for the development of new therapeutic strategies in neurological and psychiatric disorders that affect the corticostriatal network, such as schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder and Huntington's disease.

Our methodology combines state of the art brain-on-a-chip platforms, high-resolution videomicroscopy, virus-mediated circuit tracing, electrophysiology, optogenetics, functional network imaging, and behavioral analyses.

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