Our laboratory studies the function of the PI3K/TSC/mTOR pathway within neurons and astrocytes. Our goal is to understand how this pathway regulates the growth and function of cells within the mammalian central nervous system. Furthermore, we wish to understand how loss of PTEN or TSC1/2, as occurs in the hamaratomatos disorders of Cowden's disease and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, perturb the growth and function of neurons. Our studies include biochemical analysis of the signaling pathway, quantitative analysis of cell-growth and morphology, as well as electrophysiological analysis of neuronal function. Our initial studies have revealed a role of the TSC pathway in controlling neuronal growth and function and have found novel links from TSC/mTOR to the regulation of the actin cytoskeleton via the depolymerization factor cofilin.