Renata Batista-Brito’s work has focused on how inhibition shapes cortical activity in health and disease. Her scientific career began with doctoral research in the laboratory of Gordon Fishell at New York University (NYU). At NYU, she investigated the transcriptional programs underlying specification and maturation of interneurons, as well as their roles in neurodevelopmental diseases. She joined the lab of Jessica Cardin at Yale University for her postdoctoral training. At Yale, Batista-Brito showed that fluctuations in arousal state and motor activity differentially impact spontaneous and visually evoked cortical activity.
Going forward, she is interested in understanding how the postnatal development of inhibition shapes the way sensory information is represented in the mature brain and is altered in autism spectrum disorders. Addressing that question will elucidate the mechanisms by which sensory integration is modulated by internal brain states and used to guide behavior, potentially providing new biomarkers for autism.