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Sadie Bergeron, PhD – Assistant Professor



4228 Life Sciences Building


Biology; Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute

Graduate Training

PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, 2010


NIH, 2010 – 2015

Lab Webpage:

Departmental Webpage:


The lab is seeking graduate students who are broadly interested in studying neuroscience and behavior, developmental biology, cell and molecular biology, and genetics. We will also consider highly motivated and enthusiastic postdoctoral fellows who currently have their own funding or the ability to apply for funding within their first year. Email your cover letter explaining your background and research interests and a CV to:

Research Interests

  1. Development of neural circuits for sensory processing Disrupted sensory processing has been reported as a comorbidity in individuals with neurodevelopmental disorders such as autism and schizophrenia. The aim of my lab is to identify molecular genetic pathways that direct the development and ultimately the function of specific neuronal circuits mediating sensory processing; primarily visual and auditory. To do this we are using a combination of microscopy, molecular genetic tools, and behavioral and neuroanatomical analyses in the zebrafish model system.Currently, projects are focused on the characterization of a zebrafish mutant exhibiting defective sensory processing. Ongoing work will elucidate the molecular mechanisms directing the development of the underlying neural circuitry and how these brain regions integrate sensory information from the environment. We hypothesize this work will reveal important genes and circuits and direct the development of novel interventions for human neurodevelopmental disorders.
  2. Neural control of growth and reproductionA second aim of the lab is to study the neural pathways directing growth and reproduction. We have currently established a zebrafish mutant lacking a critical transcription factor for normal growth and development. The formation of gametes is also delayed in at least female zebrafish. Similar to the mouse mutant, our zebrafish mutants are smaller than their wild type siblings due to a reduction of growth hormone releasing hormone expression. However, unlike the mouse mutant, our zebrafish mutant survives until adulthood. This advantage allows the investigation of the neuronal circuitry beginning in the hypothalamus that directs the observed phenotypes throughout the lifetime of the animal. The hypothalamus is an essential brain region for everyday homeostatic regulation in fish and mammals, thus we will elucidate the development and function of novel circuitry in zebrafish that may play analogous roles in humans.

Lab Personnel

Regina Patrick

Laboratory Technician


Rebecca Robich

Graduate Student

Alexandra Schmidt

Graduate Student

Sarah Peterson

Honors Undergraduate Student

Rebekah Shephard

Undergraduate Student, SURE

Zoe Dobler

Undergraduate Student

Dominique Saporito

Undergraduate Student

Emma Sherfinksi

Undergraduate Student

Courtney Caugh

Undergraduate Student

Samantha Phelix

Undergraduate Student







WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute