Photo of Justus Kebschull

Kebschull, Justus

Assistant Professor

733 N Broadway
MRB 335
Baltimore MD 21205


In the Kebschull Lab, we ask how brain areas, circuits, and cell types change across evolution to produce the complex network architecture of extant vertebrate brains. Answering these questions will not only teach us about evolution but reveal general principles of brain circuit design and network structure. Ultimately, this knowledge will allow us to efficiently translate insights and treatments from animal models to human patients.

We approach our work by engineering cutting-edge circuit tracing and viral tools to map brains at much higher resolution and larger scales than previously possible. These tools include barcode sequencing-based tracing tools (MAPseq, BRICseq) and in situ sequencing approaches. We apply these technologies to a variety of species–including mice and humans, but also much less studied species of birds, reptiles, amphibians, and even sharks–and compare and contrast across them. This process allows us to infer the most likely evolutionary histories of individual brain circuits and of entire networks. Concrete hypotheses are then tested by developmental perturbations to live up to the spirit of “What I cannot create, I do not understand.”

Kebschull JM,  Richman EB, Ringach N, Friedmann D, Albarran E, Kolluru SS, Jones RC, Allen WE, Wang Y, Cho SW, Zhou H,  Ding JB, Chang HY, Deisseroth K, Quake SR, Luo L. Cerebellar nuclei evolved by repeatedly duplicating a conserved cell-type set. Science 370, eabd5059 (2020). DOI: 10.1126/science.abd5059

Huang L*, Kebschull JM*, Furth D, Musall S, Kaufman MT, Churchland AK, Zador AM. BRICseq bridges brain-wide interregional connectivity to neural activity and gene expression in single animals. Cell. 2020; 182(1), 117-188.e7.

Kebschull JM. DNA sequencing in high-throughput neuroanatomy. Journal of Chemical Neuroanatomy. 2019; 101653.

Kebschull JM, Zador AM. Cellular barcoding: lineage tracing, screening and beyond. Nature Methods. 2018; 15(11), 871-879.

Han Y*, Kebschull JM*, Campbell RAA*, Cowan D, Imhof F, Zador AM, Mrsic-Flogel TM. The logic of single-cell projections from visual cortex. Nature. 2018; 556(7699), 51-56.

Kebschull JM, Garcia da Silva P, Reid AP, Peikon ID, Albeanu DF, Zador AM. High-throughput mapping of single-neuron projections by sequencing of barcoded RNA. Neuron. 2016; 91(5), 975-987.