The Dwyer Lab works to elucidate the cellular mechanisms of brain development, and the disruptions that cause neurodevelopmental disorders. Using the mouse model, we study single gene mutations that alter brain size or structure, or the connections between neurons. In particular, we study how neural stem cells divide to produce either more stem cells or neuronal daughter cells. We investigate the roles of cytoskeletal proteins in regulating cell shape changes during cell division, polarization, and neuron morphogenesis. Our discoveries elucidate fundamental cellular mechanisms important not only in the nervous system, but in development of many tissues and disease processes.
Axon outgrowth and guidance: how the brain is wired together
Some mutants we study have defects in axon or dendrite formation in post-mitotic neurons. Cortical neurons dissociated from Kif20b mutant brains and cultured in a dish have changes in neuron morphology, associated with abnormalities in the microtubule cytoskeleton.
- BA, Biochemistry, Rice University
- PhD, Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco
- Postdoc, Neurodevelopment, The Salk Institute
- Postdoc, Neurogenetics, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA