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Digital Confocal Microscopy Suite (DCMS) is now available for free!

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New paper provides a novel approach for monitoring neutropenia for cancer patients.

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New paper in Nature Communications uncovers the role of optimal stiffness for cell migration.

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FUNDING

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Microtubule steering in neurons
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Microtubule-based transport is crucial for the growth and maintenance of neurons, and transport deficiencies are linked to neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS, Alzheimers and Huntington’s disease. Recent studies show that in living Drosophila neurons, axons contain all plus-end out microtubules, while dendrites contain all minus-end out microtubules [1,2].  How this geometry is initially set up and maintained despite the fact that microtubules are continually nucleating and growing into bifurcations is not at all clear.

In collaboration with
Rolls Lab, Hancock Lab and Jackson's Electronics Research Group at Penn State University, we are using in vitro reconstitution experiments, computational modeling, and microfluidic channels to study the molecular details of microtubule polarity maintenance in dendrites. The microtubule steering mechanism we investigate in this project may play a role in the repair of neurons from trauma. Thus, insights from this work could be applied to enhancing neural regeneration following injury in humans. Our work is currently supported by the National Institutes of Health.

[1]. "Microtubules have opposite orientation in axons and dendrites of Drosophila neurons", M. C. Stone, F. Roegiers, M. M. Rolls, Mol. Biol. Cell
19, 4122-4129 (2008).
[2]. "Directed microtubule growth, +TIPs, and kinesin-2 are required for uniform microtubule polarity in dendrites", F. J. Mattie, M. M. Stackpole, M. C. Stone, J. R. Clippard, D. A. Rudnick, Y. Qiu, J. Tao, D. L. Allender, M. Parmar, M. M. Rolls, Current Biology
20, 2169-2177 (2010).