Faculty Profile

Dr. Renata A. Batista-Brito, Ph.D.

Renata A. Batista-Brito, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor, Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics

Professional Interests

Accurate perception depends on the adaptive function of brain areas comprised of many types of cells and synaptic connections that develop over a long period. During development, neural networks grow from a state of zero connectivity to the precisely interconnected circuits characteristic of the adult brain. The activity of GABAergic inhibitory neurons during postnatal development is likely to mediate synaptic refinement, enhancing precision in the mature network. Accordingly, recent evidence suggests disruption of inhibitory function as a mechanism underlying neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Our lab combines cell-type specific manipulation of neuronal activity, in vivo electrophysiology, in vivo 2-photon imaging, and behavioral analysis in order to understand how the postnatal developmental of inhibition shapes sensory representation in the mature brain, and how this process is altered in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Our working hypotheses are: a) Postnatal changes in the connectivity and activity patterns of interneurons instruct how sensory information is processed in the mature brain; b) Developmental dysfunction of inhibitory neurons impairs cortical circuits and is a key mechanism for neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. Addressing these questions will identify key developmental processes, elucidate fundamental mechanisms by which sensory information guides behavior, and potentially provide new biomarkers for neuropsychiatric diseases.

Selected Publications

Developmental Dysfunction of VIP Interneurons Impairs Cortical Circuits. Batista-Brito R, Vinck M, Ferguson KA, Chang JT, Laubender D, Lur G, Mossner JM, Hernandez VG, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Higley MJ, Cardin JA. Neuron. 2017 Aug 16;95(4):884-895.e9. 

Batista-Brito R, Vinck M, Ferguson KA, Laubender D, Lur G, Mossner JM, Hernandez VG, Ramakrishnan C, Deisseroth K, Higley MJ, Cardin JA. Developmental dysfunction of VIP interneurons impairs cortical circuits. Neuron, 2017, 95(4):884-895. 

Vinck M*, Batista-Brito R*, Knoblich U, Cardin JA. Arousal and locomotion make distinct contributions to cortical activity patterns and visual encoding. Neuron, 2015, 86(3):740-54. * equal contributions

McGinley MJ, Vinck M, Reimer MJ, Batista-Brito R, Zagha E, Cadwell CR, Tolias A S, Cardin JA, McCormick DA. Waking State: Rapid Variations Modulate Neural and Behavioral Responses. Neuron, 2015, 87(6):1143-61. 

R, Rossignol E, Hjerling-Leffler J, Denaxa M, Wegner M, Lefebvre V, Pachnis V, Fishell G. The cell-intrinsic requirement of Sox6 for cortical interneuron development. Neuron, 2009, 63(4):466-81. 

Tuncdemir S, Fishell G, Batista-Brito R#. miRNAs are essential for the survival and maturation of cortical interneurons. Cereb Cortex. 2014, Epub 2014 Jan 22. # corresponding author

Jaglin XH, Hjerling-Leffler J, Fishell G, Batista-Brito R#. The origin of neocortical nitric oxide synthase expressing inhibitory neurons. Front Neural Circuits. 2012;6:44. Epub 2012 Jul 9. #corresponding author

Batista-Brito R, Machold R, Klein K and Fishell G. Gene expression in cortical interneuron precursors is prescient of their mature function. Cerebral Cortex, 2008, 18(10):2306-17. 

Batista-Brito R, Fishell G. The developmental integration of cortical interneurons into a functional network. Curr Top Dev Biol, 2009, 87:81-118. 

Close J, Xu H, DeMarco N, Batista-Brito R, Budy B, Fishell G. Satb1 is required for the Maturation and integration of somatostatin interneurons into the cortex. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012, 32(49):17690-705. 

Picardo MA, Guigue P, Bonifazi P, Batista-Brito R, Allene C, Ribas A, Fishell G, Baude A, Cossart R. Pioneer GABA Cells Comprise a Subpopulation of Hub Neurons in the Developing Hippocampus. Neuron. 2011, 71(4):695-709. 

Batista-Brito R, Close J, Machold R and Fishell G. The distinct temporal origins of olfactory bulb interneuron subtypes. Journal of Neuroscience. 2008, 28: 3966-3975. 

Batista-Brito R, Fishell G. Generation of cortical interneurons. Chapter in textbook Developmental Neuroscience. 2013. ISBN 978-0-12-397265-1/66-8/67-5.

Material in this section is provided by individual faculty members who are solely responsible for its accuracy and content.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Rose F. Kennedy Center
1410 Pelham Parkway South , Room 203
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.8507
Fax: 718.430.8821

Research Information