University of Kansas
Microscopy and Analytical Imaging Resources Core Laboratory Professor
1200 Sunnyside Avenue
Lawrence, Kansas 66045
My research seeks to elucidate how neuronal precursors migrate to reach their final destination in the spinal cord to form somatic efferent motor neurons that conduct impulses from the spinal cord to skeletal muscles of the pelvis and perineum and to determine the role of retinoic acid as a determinate of somatic motor neuron phenotype, directional guidance cue, or motility regulator in migration of those precursors during vertebrate neuroembryogenesis.
To that end, my work focuses on elucidating 1.) the development, structure, shape, and positioning of dendritic fields and 2.) their spatial patterning in response to retinoic acid in order to determine target recognition and synaptogenesis of somatic efferent motor neurons.
Through the use of classical and modern experimental neuroembryological and neuroanatomical tract-tracing methods, selective neuronal and/or dendritic laser ablation, development, refinement, and use of new specimen preparation techniques, and correlative multi-functional probes, and nanoparticles for wide-field fluorescence microscopy, structured illumination microscopy (SIM), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM), we are able to visualize, follow, and build neuroanatomically realistic three-dimensional (3-D) models of somatic efferent motor neurons in preserved and living intact embryos in two vertebrate model system, specifically, the sexually dimorphic teleost fish, Gambusia affinis affinis, the Western Mosquitofish which has a unique ano-urogenital region which contains skeletal muscles analogous to the skeletal muscles of pelvis and perineum and the non-sexually dimorphic teleost fish, Danio rerio, the Zebrafish.
Please visit our web site at: http://pisces.cnnet.clu.edu/erm-lab.