The Portera-Cailliau laboratory investigates how developmental defects in network connectivity at the level of the cerebral cortex directly lead to symptoms of autism, learning disability and intellectual dysfunction. In particular they are studying sensory hypersensitivity in a model of fragile X syndrome, by combining in vivo two-photon calcium imaging, patch-clamp electrophysiology, and head-fixed behavior. Dr. Portera-Cailliau was born and raised in Madrid, Spain. He obtained a B.A. in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from U.C. San Diego in 1990. He then attended the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and obtained an MD-PhD degree in 1997. His mentors were Drs. Donald Price and Lee Martin. After finishing a residency in Neurology at The Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham & Women's Hospital in Boston in 2001, Dr. Portera-Cailliau moved to Columbia University for a post-doctoral fellowship in Dr. Rafael Yuste's laboratory. His second post-doc was with Dr. Karel Svoboda in Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. He joined the UCLA faculty in November 2004 and has joint appointments in the Departments of Neurology and Neurobiology. He is a member of UCLA's Brain Research Institute, the Integrated Center for Learning & Memory, and the Neuroscience Theme. Since 2013 he has served as co-director of the UCLA-Caltech Medical Scientist Training Program.
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