Connecting campuses to promote excellence in math and science


Martha Bhattacharya

Washington University in St. Louis
Developmental Biology
A Model of Toxic Neuropathy in Drosophila Identifies Conserved Pathways Promoting Axonal Degeneration
The axon is the longest portion of a neuron and relays information to target cells, including neurons and muscle. When it is damaged by physical injury, toxicity, metabolic stress (diabetes) or hereditary deficiency, the axon initiates a molecular pro-degenerative program. We know only a handful of genes that promote axon degeneration, limiting our ability to design rational drugs to block it. I have designed a model of chemotherapy-induced nerve damage in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster and have used this model to identify a number of genes promoting axonal destruction. Furthermore, we have shown that these genes have conserved roles in axon degeneration in the mouse. Our studies currently focus on identifying conserved molecular pathways and testing known pharmacological inhibitors of these newly identified molecules in both mouse and fly.
Related File: file245Bhattacharya-JNS.pdf
Apply for monies for this speaker