Graduate Training in Neuroscience
University of Washington
Mark A. Bothwell
Professor, Department of Physiology & Biophysics
Our research focuses on the signaling functions of p75NTR and Trk neurotrophin receptors in developing and degenerating nervous systems. A major emphasis encompasses emerging evidence that developmental axon pruning and axonal degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease employ similar mechanisms, which share many features with the signaling pathways that mediate apoptotic cell death. A central hub of these pathways is axonal mitochondria, which influence activation of axonal caspases, and which produce reactive oxygen species that control signaling by death receptors such as p75NTR. Our approach to characterizing these mechanisms involves production of specific types of neurons, including spinal cord motor neurons, from induced pluripotent stem cells produced from individuals with inherited neurological disorders..