We are interested in how neurons generate axons and dendrites with different functions and constituents, and how they maintain function over the lifetime of an animal. We focus on understanding cytoskeletal organization and injury and stress responses. For many of our projects we use genetics and live imaging in Drosophila to investigate the basic cell biology of neurons in their normal environment. We also use live imaging of the sea anemone Nematostella vectensis to understand how neurons evolved, and live imaging of neurons in zebrafish to ask specific questions about microtubule organization and injury responses in vertebrates.
Current projects include:
1. identifying mechanisms that regulate microtubule minus ends in neurons
2. understanding mechanisms that contribute to microtubule polarity in neurons including quality control
3. understanding axon injury responses including dendrite regeneration
4. determining whether sea anemone neurons are polarized
5. understanding how sensory endings in the vertebrate skin regenerate