Pallas Lab

Developmental Neurobiology

Our research is aimed at understanding the neural circuitry and cellular/molecular mechanisms underlying development, plasticity, and evolution of visual and auditory pathways in the brain. We conduct basic neuroscience research that has implications for traumatic brain injury, optic nerve regeneration, learning and memory, and neurological diseases such as schizophrenia, epilepsy, and autism.

The Pallas Lab has moved from the Neuroscience Institute at Georgia State University to the Neuroscience and Behavior Program in the Biology Department at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst, in order to create a new and improved Pallas Lab!


[Image credit: M. Shribak and T. Balmer]

Contact after August 1, 2019:

Program in Neuroscience and BehaviorDept. of BiologyUniversity of Massachusetts221 Morrill Science Center III611 North Pleasant StreetAmherst, MA 01003-9297 spallas@umass.edu

The science done in the Pallas lab depends on the diverse perspectives of our team members. We are committed to equity in our lab group and in society. We condemn the systemic racism and police brutality that has again resulted in the murder of black men and women.

UMass-Amherst

Degu adult and pup

NEWS: Our first degu visual system poster got a lot of attention at SfN 2019 in Chicago! Thanks to all of my Chilean colleagues at U Chile-Santiago for their hard work: Postdoc Dr. Natalia Marquez, students Alfonso Deichler and Ignacio Perales, and PIs Prof. Jorge Mpodozis, Prof. Juan-Carlos Letelier, and Prof. Gonzalo Marin.

140.16. Visual responses in the superior colliculus of a diurnal, precocial hystricognath rodent: Octodon degus. N. I. MARQUEZ1, A. R. DEICHLER1, I. PERALES1, J.-C. LETELIER1, G. J. MARÍN2, J. MPODOZIS1, *S. L. PALLAS3; 1Biol., 2Univ. of Chile, Santiago, Chile; 3Biol., Univ. of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

NEWS: Congratulations to Parag Juvale, who passed his oral qualifying exam on June 18, 2020, and now moves on to candidacy for the Ph.D.

NEWS: Congratulations to David Mudd, who passed his dissertation defense on July 17, 2019!

DEMO: Below are some really cool movies that we made of transgenic mouse brains. These were made using an adaptation of the CLARITY method for imaging cleared whole brains in 3-D, with help from Joe Bergan and his lab at U Mass-Amherst (Isogai et al., 2017). These mice have GFP expression tied to Thy-1 expression. Thy-1 labels many different types of neurons, allowing for a nice demonstration of the utility of this method. We will use it to label particular neuron types and particular proteins that are involved in development and plasticity of visual pathways in the brain (see Research and Publications).


Isogai Y, Richardson DS, Dulac C, Bergan J. Optimized Protocol for Imaging Cleared Neural Tissues Using Light Microscopy. Methods Mol Biol. 2017;1538:137-153.
Light sheet photomicrography shows 3-D stack of images taken from a mid-sagittal view of a mouse brain labeled with Thy-1 GFP. Collaboration with laboratory of Joe Bergen, U Mass-Amherst.


Light sheet photomicrography shows 3-D stack of images taken of a mouse midbrain region labeled with Thy-1 GFP. Collaboration with laboratory of Joe Bergen, U Mass-Amherst.

Light sheet photomicrography shows 3-D stack of images taken of a mouse optic nerve labeled with Thy-1 GFP. Collaboration with laboratory of Joe Bergen, U Mass-Amherst.