Trent Watkins, Ph.D.
Trent Watkins, Ph.D.
- Assistant Professor
Neurosurgery (Primary) and Neuroscience (Secondary)
Baylor College of Medicine
Houston, TX US
- Postdoctoral Fellowship at Genentech, Inc.
- South San Francisco, California
- PhD from Stanford University School of Medicine
- Stanford, California
- AB from University of California-Berkeley
- Berkeley, California
- Molecular and Cell Biology
- Neuronal injury and cellular stress signaling pathways
- Axon regeneration
- CNS trauma, including spinal cord and optic nerve injuries
Professional StatementNeurons encounter a variety of insults that profoundly impact the function of the nervous system, from trauma (e.g., spinal cord injury) to neurodegenerative pathology (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease). The fate of injured neurons depends on their ability to respond and adapt. My laboratory aims to understand the mechanisms and consequences of neuronal injury signaling. This understanding will drive the development of new therapeutic strategies to enhance repair pathways and reduce pathological responses. Axonal damage provides an invaluable system for these investigations, providing: (1) distinct examples of the strikingly contrasting outcomes of injury signaling, from functional axon regeneration to extensive neurodegeneration; (2) technical simplicity of both in vitro and in vivo models, including genetic manipulation; and (3) application to persistent challenges in neurology and neurosurgery. My experience in drug development and clinical biomarkers research guides collaborations with industry and clinical partners for translation of our basic research insights.
- Simon DJ, Watkins TA "Therapeutic opportunities and pitfalls in the treatment of axon degeneration." Curr Opin Neurol. 2018 December ; 31 (6): 693-701. Pubmed PMID: 30320612
- Chan JR, Watkins TA, Cosgaya JM, Zhang C, Chen L, Reichardt LF, Shooter EM, Barres BA "NGF controls axonal receptivity to myelination by Schwann cells or oligodendrocytes." Neuron. 2004 July 22; 43 (2): 183-91. Pubmed PMID: 15260955
- Watkins TA, Scholze AR "Myelinating cocultures of rat retinal ganglion cell reaggregates and optic nerve oligodendrocyte precursor cells." Cold Spring Harb Protoc. 2014 October 1; 2014 (10): pdb.prot074971. Pubmed PMID: 25275100
- Emery B, Agalliu D, Cahoy JD, Watkins TA, Dugas JC, Mulinyawe SB, Ibrahim A, Ligon KL, Rowitch DH, Barres BA "Myelin gene regulatory factor is a critical transcriptional regulator required for CNS myelination." Cell. 2009 July 10; 138 (1): 172-85. Pubmed PMID: 19596243
- Huntwork-Rodriguez S, Wang B, Watkins T, Ghosh AS, Pozniak CD, Bustos D, Newton K, Kirkpatrick DS, Lewcock JW "JNK-mediated phosphorylation of DLK suppresses its ubiquitination to promote neuronal apoptosis." J Cell Biol. 2013 September 2; 202 (5): 747-63. Pubmed PMID: 23979718
- Farley MM, Watkins TA "Intrinsic Neuronal Stress Response Pathways in Injury and Disease." Annu Rev Pathol. 2018 January 24; 13 : 93-116. Pubmed PMID: 29414247
- Larhammar M, Huntwork-Rodriguez S, Jiang Z, Solanoy H, Sengupta Ghosh A, Wang B, Kaminker JS, Huang K, Eastham-Anderson J, Siu M, Modrusan Z, Farley MM, Tessier-Lavigne M, Lewcock JW, Watkins TA "Dual leucine zipper kinase-dependent PERK activation contributes to neuronal degeneration following insult." Elife. 2017 April 25; pii : e20725. Pubmed PMID: 28440222
- Watkins TA, Wang B, Huntwork-Rodriguez S, Yang J, Jiang Z, Eastham-Anderson J, Modrusan Z, Kaminker JS, Tessier-Lavigne M, Lewcock JW "DLK initiates a transcriptional program that couples apoptotic and regenerative responses to axonal injury." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2013 March 5; 110 (10): 4039-44. Pubmed PMID: 23431164
- Watkins TA, Emery B, Mulinyawe S, Barres BA "Distinct stages of myelination regulated by gamma-secretase and astrocytes in a rapidly myelinating CNS coculture system." Neuron. 2008 November 26; 60 (4): 555-69. Pubmed PMID: 19038214
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