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Faculty
Wesley Thompson
Professor

Email: wes@mail.utexas.edu
Main Office: PAT 302
Phone: 471-3031

Alternate Office: PAT 312
Alt. Phone: 512 471 3031

Mailing Address
Section of MCDB-C1000
University of Texas
Austin ,TX 78712-1095

Wesley Thompson


Research Summary

My lab is interested in the role of glial cells in the formation and maintenance of synapses in the nervous system. For this purpose we study the simplest of all synapses, the neuromuscular junction where our previous work suggests these glial cells (Schwann cells) guide and induce the growth of axons and control several aspects of synaptic structure. Our primary approach is to use vital imaging in the living animal. Because we made transgenic mice that express different colors of green fluorescent protein in neurons and glial cells, we can repeatedly visualize these cells using fluorescence microscopy and determine how they behave during development and during reformation of synaptic connections following nerve injury. We are also preparing transgenics in which we can inducibly control expression of transgenes, including dominant negatives for signaling molecules, to analyze cell-cell interactions involving glial cells.

 

 

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