Lab in the Time of Covid-19

In March, like many labs across the country, we reduced activity in the lab to a bare minimum in order to protect our members and the larger community. We rapidly accustomed ourselves to lab meetings held via Zoom. Intrepid graduate student Mikolaj Kozlowski pioneered the virtual rotation, later joining the lab. Postdoc Kwang Woo Ko […]

Lab Alumna Wins Best Talk Prize

We would like to wish Lauren Walker, a former graduate student in the lab, a hearty congratulations for winning the best talk prize at the Hilde Mangold Postdoctoral Symposium at the recent Society for Developmental Biology meeting. She won the award for her presentation on “Identification of extrinsic cues promoting target-selective axon regeneration”.

2019’s New Lab Members

We are extremely pleased to have several new members in 2019.  John Palucki joined the lab as a research technician and is helping with many of the tissue culture experiments.  Kelsey Krus and Jayson Cruz are both neuroscience graduate students in WUSM’s Medical Scientist Training Program.  We are also pleased to welcome Dr. Laura Devault, […]

Thomas Schwarz Keynotes Symposium to Launch New Center

Dr. Aaron DiAntonio and Dr. Jeffrey Milbrandt, co-directors of the Needleman Center for Axonal Therapeutics and Neurometabolism, launched the new center with a symposium featuring Aaron’s PhD mentor, Dr. Thomas Schwarz. Dr. Schwarz, who is now a professor at Harvard, gave a talk titled “Moving and Removing Neuronal Mitochondria”. Other speakers included Dr. Ghazal Ashrafi, […]

Mechanistically distinct chemotherapeutics cause CIPN via Sarm1

Previous work by Dr. Stefanie Geisler had shown that axonal damage subsequent to administration of vincristine, a common chemotherapeutic, was a result of a Sarm1-dependent mechanism. In the recent JCI Insight paper titled “Vincristine and bortezomib use distinct upstream mechanisms to activate a common SARM1-dependent axon degeneration program,” Dr. Geisler and colleagues demonstrated that Bortezomib, […]

DLK responsible for many Fragile X phenotypes in a fly model

Exciting new research from Alex Russo is presented this month in Cell Reports in a paper titled Wnd/DLK Is a Critical Target of FMRP Responsible for Neurodevelopmental and Behavior Defects in the Drosophila Model of Fragile X Syndrome. FMRP1 is the gene mutated in Fragile-X syndrome. It functions as a translational repressor that targets many mRNAs. When […]

DiAntonio/Milbrandt labs’ discovery helps solve a 20 year mystery

Biology can be pretty amazing. A grad student in the Milbrandt lab, Kow Essuman, and collaborators at UNC and Colorado State University just published a paper in Science on the role of TIR domains in plants. The DiAntonio and Milbrandt labs study how axons degenerate after injury and in disease. A few years ago the […]

A Big Picture Review of Recent Developments

Aaron’s recent review in the journal PAIN synthesizes recent developments in our understanding of axon degeneration and discusses the therapeutic implications.  This review also includes an audio recording of him describing the research progress.  One of the key discoveries discussed is that Sarm1 is itself an NADase enzyme.  Understanding that opens up new possibilities for pharmacological […]

Modeling Neurological Disorders Using Stem Cell-based Approaches

On April 22, Dr. DiAntonio will kick off the Hope Center’s upcoming seminar series, Modeling Neurological Disorders Using Stem Cell-based Approaches. His talk is titled “Axon Degeneration: Mechanistic Insights Yield New Therapeutic Strategies for Neurodegenerative Diseases” and will be at noon in Holden Auditorium.

Alex Russo presents thesis work

Alex will share her thesis work March 27, 2019 in a presentation titled “Neuronal stress pathways influence synaptic development and nervous system function in Drosophila melanogaster”. The seminar will be at 2pm in Holden Auditorium.

Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy review of Geisler’s study

Read the review of Dr. Stefanie Geisler’s recent study in mice of preventing peripheral neuropathy with gene therapy.  The article can be found here: https://www.foundationforpn.org/2019/01/22/gene-therapy-blocks-peripheral-nerve-damage-in-mice/

Gene therapy for peripheral neuropathy successful in mice

A new paper in the Journal of Experimental Medicine details the experiments led by Dr. Stefanie Geisler in collaboration with the Milbrandt and DiAntonio labs to target SARM1 using gene therapy in mice.  This is an exciting step towards possible treatments for peripheral neuropathy and other disorders involving axon breakdown.

Aaron at ASCB

Aaron DiAntonio will be co-chairing the Neural Development and Neurodegeneration Symposium at the American Society for Cell Biology Meeting in San Diego, CA on December 10th, 2018.

Congratulations to Helen Li on winning the Thach Award!

Hailun “Helen” Li has won the Thach Award for her short talk at the Annual Neuroscience Retreat.  No one in the lab was surprised as even Helen’s lab meeting presentations are works of art, but we are especially happy as this is the second year in a row that a member of the lab has won. […]

New paper in PNAS

We are proud to announce that Dan Summers, a postdoc with a joint appointment in the DiAntonio and Milbrandt labs, has a new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal titled Palmitoylation enables MAPK-dependent proteostasis of axon survival factors.

Erin Frey joins Folio Conversant as Project Manager

After a successful postdoc culminating with the publication of her eNeuro paper, TRPV1 Agonist, Capsaicin, Induces Axon Outgrowth after Injury via Ca2+/PKA Signaling, Dr. Frey accepted a Project Manager position at Folio Conversant, a contract research company in her hometown of Columbus, Ohio. This move gets two thumbs up from Erin. We’ll all miss her and wish […]

Scott defends his thesis!

Congratulations to Dr. Scott Karney-Grobe who successfully defended his thesis!  His work looked at the role of the chaperone protein Hsp90 in neural regeneration.  We decided his celebratory cake needed a chaperone, too.