Tom Jessell’s research examines the cellular and molecular mechanisms that control the assembly and function of circuits for mammalian motor control. His work has defined how diverse neuronal subtypes assemble into motor circuits and how the precision and logic of network wiring contributes to refined motor skills. His most recent studies are focused on circuits that control two forms of limb motor behavior: locomotion and skilled reaching. He has defined the cellular rules and molecular mechanisms that direct the intricate wiring of these motor circuits. In parallel, he has used insights into the molecular origins of neuronal subtype to devise precise genetic methods to monitor and manipulate the activity of selected interneuron classes, permitting an insight into the design of systems engaged in the planning and execution of movement.
Thomas Jessell is an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the Claire Tow Professor in the Departments of Neuroscience and Biochemistry at Columbia University. Jessell is a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, a member of the US Institute of Medicine and a Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Sciences. His work has been recognized by numerous awards He is a co-editor of the textbook ‘Principles of Neural Science’.