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Catherine Krull

University of Michigan
5211 Dental
1011 N. University Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109

734 764-5441

Taxa Studied: Vertebrate Animals
Techniques Employed: Quantitative PCR (qPCR), Microarrays, In Situ Hybridization, Antibody Staining, Sectioning for Histology, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Confocal Microscopy, Time-Lapse Microscopy, Other, RNA interference(RNAi), In ovo electroporation
Research Description: We are examining how cells navigate to their target regions in the developing embryo. We have focused our efforts on three cell types: motor neurons, neural crest cells, and mouse ES cells. Using the avian embryo as a model system, we have developed approaches to allow us to pursue these studies, including in ovo electoporation. Using these approaches, we have found that EphA4 is responsible for motor axons projections along the dorsal nerve trunk. Expression of EphA4 ectopically in motor neurons that don't express it results in those motor neurons projecting their axons dorsally also, instead of their normal ventral trajectory. Also, we have found that chick ephexin, that binds EphA4, is responsible for axon entry into the limb. We are currently using time-lapse imaging to determine how EphA4 and Ret, another receptor tyrosine kinase, work together. Using similar approaches, we have focused on the determination and migration of neural crest cells and of mouse ES cells. In summary, our studies center on the molecules and mechanisms that guide cells to their final destinations in the chick embryo.
Lab Web Page:
Willing to Host Undergraduates: YES
Actively Seeking Undergraduates: YES
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