Glial Cell Biology Unit

Oligodendrocyte with Mbp mRNA in green and MBP protein in blue


Our lab goal is to understand glial function at animal, cell, and protein levels in order to elucidate mechanisms of normal development and disease progression.

Major research topics include:

  • The role of Golgi outposts in acentrosomal microtubule nucleation in oligodendrocytes.  We are investigating Golgi outpost associated proteins and how they work in concert with the microtubule nucleator TPPP to organize microtubules. In addition, we have uncovered important connections between the biophysical properties of TPPP and how it can lead to aggregation in neurodegenerative disease.
  • Mechanisms of mRNA transport and local translation in oligodendrocytes.  We made several mouse models to understand the importance of mRNA transport in in vivo myelination. We complement these studies with transcriptome analyses of mRNAs found in oligodendrocyte processes and biophysical motility assays to identify the minimally sufficient set of proteins needed to transport mRNA.
  • Cytoskeletal organization, mRNA transport, and local translation in astrocytes and microglia.