Our laboratory is engaged in many different projects, all of which are related to understanding the functional organization of axons in normal health and disease/injury. These projects include (but are not limited to):
- Determine the molecular mechanisms underlying CNS node of Ranvier formation and axon initial segment assembly.
- Determine the molecular composition of axon initial segments and nodes of Ranvier.
- Determine the consequences of nervous system injury/disease (e.g., multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, ischemic brain injury, peripheral nerve injury) on the structure and function of nodes of Ranvier and axon initial segments.
- Develop strategies to preserve nodes and initial segments after injury/disease.
- Determine the molecular mechanisms of neuron-glia interactions at paranodal junctions.
- Determine the molecular mechanisms underlying assembly of Kv1 K+ channel complexes at juxtaparanodes of myelinated nerve fibers.
To accomplish these aims we use proteomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, shRNA-mediated knockdown of protein expression, electrophysiology, recombineering to generate conditional knockout-mice, cell-culture, models of peripheral nerve injury (e.g. nerve crush, lysolecithin mediated demyelination), in utero electroporation, etc. Our philosophy is to learn whatever technique is necessary to address the question.