Takao Hensch, PhD
Department of Neurology/ Program in Neurobiology
F.M. Kirby Neurobiology Center
|Hospital Title||Senior Research Associate in Neurology|
|Academic Title||Professor of Neurology|
320 Longwood Ave
Boston, MA 02115 USA
Takao Hensch focuses on how neuronal circuits in the brain are shaped by experience during 'critical periods' in early postnatal life. Integrating molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience, primarily in the developing visual cortex, Hensch has revealed specific, local inhibitory (GABAergic) circuits that trigger a proteolytic reorganization of anatomical connections, which ultimately consolidate plasticity. Inappropriate excitatory-inhibitory balance may underlie devastating developmental brain disorders, such as epilepsy and autism. Translational research at Children's Hospital and the successful reactivation of plasticity in adulthood may lead to novel strategies for recovery of function, therapy and lifelong learning.
About Takao Hensch
Takao Hensch received his PhD from UCSF after training at Harvard, Univ. Tokyo (MPH) and the Max-Planck Institut (Fulbright Fellow). He is a recipient of the Young Investigator Award from both the Japanese (2001 Tsukahara Prize) and US (2005) Society for Neuroscience.
Sugiyama S, Di Nardo AA, Aizawa S, Matsuo I, Volovitch M, Prochiantz A, Hensch TK. (2008) Experience- dependent transfer of Otx2 homeoprotein into the visual cortex activates postnatal plasticity. Cell 134:508-520.
Morishita H, Hensch TK. (2008) Critical period revisited: impact on vision. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 18: 101-107.
Katagiri H, fagiolini M & Hensch TK. Optimization of somatic inhibition at critical period onset in mouse visual cortex. Neuron 53:805-812.
Hensch TK. (2005) Critical period plasticity in local cortical circuits. Nat Rev Neurosci. 6:877-888.
Mataga N. Mizuguchi Y & Hensch TK (2004) Experience-dependent pruning of dendritic spinees in visual cortex by tissue plasminogen activator. Neuron 44: 1031-41.
- Fagiolini M, Fritschy J-M, Low K, Mohler H, Rudolph U & Hensch TK. (2004) Specific GABAA circuits for visual cortical plasticity. Science 303: 1681-1683.