Jason Wester is an assistant professor in the Department of Neuroscience at the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He received his Ph.D. in neuroscience from the University of Pennsylvania with Diego Contreras and was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Institutes of Health with Chris McBain. He joined the faculty at Ohio State in 2019.
The Wester lab is interested in how circuits of the neocortex and hippocampus are organized and assemble themselves during development. They use mouse models to investigate how different types of excitatory and inhibitory neurons choose their synaptic partners under both normal and pathological conditions such as autism. Their working hypothesis is that healthy cortical circuits require the formation of stereotyped patterns of synaptic connectivity among distinct neuronal cell types, and that this is necessary for stable brain function. Under disease conditions, the developmental trajectory of these circuits is disrupted, leading to configurations incapable of proper information processing.
Their research will improve our understanding of how healthy neural networks work and the developmental mechanisms that lead to neurological disorders. This is necessary to advance therapeutic interventions targeted to specific types of neurons at distinct developmental stages to redirect cortical circuits towards a healthy state.