Tenure Line -- Assistant Professor
Department of Biology
My research aims to understand the mechanisms of CNS glia-neuron interaction in development, homeostasis, and regeneration, with the goal to devise regenerative and neuroprotective therapies for brain pathologies that occur with aging, injury and disease. We focus on the biology and pathology oligodendrocytes, which are glial cells that synthesize myelin membranes around CNS axons to enable rapid, saltatory conduction. Myelin destruction and oligodendrocyte loss such as in multiple sclerosis (MS) impairs axonal function and promotes axonal degeneration. We are investigating how oligodendrocyte-axon interactions influence axonal integrity and survival. We are also investigating how oligodendrocytes differentiate from progenitors under the inflammatory environment to regenerate myelin (remyelination) after demyelinating injury. We use primary oligodendrocyte cultures, transgenic mice, and models of experimental CNS demyelination, combined with molecular biology and imaging tools to address these questions.