Dr. Kelly Monk is a senior scientist and co-director of the Vollum Institute. Her research uses mouse and zebrafish models to better understand how myelinated axons are formed, maintained, and regenerated.
"Molecular and genetic mechanisms of glial development"
Abstract: When thinking of cells in the nervous system, most people first consider neurons. Yet diverse cells called glia can vastly outnumber neurons in some regions of the human brain. The lipid-rich myelin sheath, the “white” in “white matter,” insulates axons and comprises ~50% by volume of the adult human brain. Whereas myelin has historically been considered largely in the context of its key role in facilitating fast impulse propagation, this view is rapidly expanding, with myelinating glia also having diverse and essential functions in nervous system development, maintenance, plasticity, and repair. At birth, the human brain is scantly myelinated, and robust myelination proceeds well into the fourth decade of life. At the organismal level, how does this remarkable expansion of myelinated axon tracts impact neural circuits, learning, and behavior? At the cellular level, how are axons selected to be myelinated? How is myelination initiated and what controls the spiral wrapping of glial cell cytoplasm around axons? What molecular pathways ensure proper axon-glial and glial-glial communication? What signals are essential to maintain myelin after it has formed, and what pathways control remyelination in disease and injury? We use a synergistic combination of zebrafish and mouse models to tackle these questions.
Friday, Nov 1
Student Lunch: Students are also invited to join Kelly Monk at noon on Friday before the afternoon seminar. Spots are limited, so early RSVPs are encouraged. RSVP here to join the student lunch.
Friday, November 1, 2019 at 4:10pm to 5:00pm
Biology, Biology 19
3203 Southeast Woodstock Boulevard, Portland, Oregon 97202-8199
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