We are interested in developmental mechanisms that are critical for neuronal migration and circuit formation in the cerebral cortex and potentially at risk in the perinatal period. We seek to understand the molecular control of neural progenitor migration and to develop strategies to direct these cells to sites of injury to achieve structural repair. Additionally, we investigate the mechanisms of lesion and regenerative responses to induce functional recovery in an animal model of targeted neuronal death. We focus on the somatosensory barrel cortex by taking advantage of a methodology for epicranial multielectrode recordings of somatosensory evoked potential that allows for monitoring functional deficit and recovery after injury. Exploring new strategies to improve the integration of grafted cells into recipient host circuits, we employ lentivirus-based genetic engineering to introduce controllable expression of candidate molecules in transplanted cells and the host circuit.