• 1265

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

The nervous system translates sensory inputs into appropriate motor outputs. Although sensory inputs are processed in diverse and complex fashions, most of the results of their computations are eventually filtered through a shared end-point: the motor circuits of the spinal cord. The long term goal of our research is to address two major aspects of motor control:

1) What is the structure of the spinal microcircuit, and what are the functional synaptic properties of its connections? How do these output circuits serve to combine behavioral modules for optimal movements?

2) How do descending commands, especially those from the vestibular (balance) system, operate on spinal microcircuits to elicit behavior?


Graduate school is an exciting time that stretches students to build on their strengths and develop new skills. It can also be a frustrating time as students compare their scientific visions with the realities of their data. My job as a mentor is to meet each student (and postdoc) where they are, and support their transition to independent success. To this end, I meet with everyone weekly or more frequently, ensure that lab meetings are a chance to develop intellectually as a group, and encourage trainees to take ownership of their projects so that we battle the challenges of research side by side.

Science is hard enough even when everything is going well; it is nearly impossible when you don't feel comfortable in your own lab. My goal is that all members of the lab, regardless of identity, feel supported and respected every day in their research and in their lives. This principle guides our daily choices, and I encourage anyone considering this lab to talk with lab members for their perspectives.

Available to Mentor:

  • PhD/MSTP Students


Dive into the research topics where Martha Bagnall is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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