I am a neuroscientist who studies the impact of aging and neurodegenerative disease on voice and speech. My laboratory seeks a better understanding of the molecules, cells and circuits in the brain that support vocal production.
My laboratory studies neurogenetic mechanisms which underlie normal and abnormal motor speech using the zebra finch songbird. My particular focus is to investigate molecular and cellular pathways altered by speech disorders associated with natural aging and neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s Disease. To carry out these investigations, we use a combination of behavioral, genetic, biochemical and electrophysiological approaches that enable us to link changes at the molecular/cellular levels to alterations in neural circuits for birdsong/human speech. We also have collaborations with researchers working in mouse models to understand shared molecular pathway for vocal function. The end goal is to leverage the advantages offered by each species and an array of biological tools to further advance our understanding of how the brain controls vocalizations. Our laboratory website, including an updated publication list, can be found at: https://julieemiller.lab.arizona.edu/content/publications-abstracts