Professor Jonathon Howard

Eugene Higgins Professor of Molecular Biophysics & Biochemistry  Yale University, USA

Title:  "Dendritic Branching Morphogenesis: Motors and Cytoskeleton"

Abstract: The architecture of the brain and its constituent neurons is staggeringly complex. Much of this morphological complexity arises at the cellular level in the form of highly branched dendrites, which enable neurons to receive input from hundreds to hundreds of thousands of other neurons. Our goal is to understand the cell biological principles underlying the branching morphogenesis of dendrites. We are using highly branched mechanoreceptors in fly embryos and larvae as a model system. Using RNAi and CRISPR we have shown that the microtubule cytoskeleton plays a fundamental role in branching, and that mutations can both increase and decrease the complexity of branching. We have discovered that dendrite growth is a highly dynamic process in which individual processes undergo stochastic conversion between rapidly growing and shrinking phases. Theory and simulations show that these local rapid dynamics can give rise to the much slower expansion of the entire dendritic arbor.



About Neuroscience Seminars

Neuroscience seminars at the QBI play a major role in the advancement of neuroscience in the Asia-Pacific region. The primary goal of these seminars is to promote excellence in neuroscience through the exchange of ideas, establishing new collaborations and augmenting partnerships already in place.

The scheduled QBI Neuroscience Seminar series are held on Wednesdays from 11am-12pm in the Level 7 Auditorium of the Queensland Brain Institute, Building 79, St Lucia Campus, The University of Queensland. Additional seminars may be held at other times as listed below.


Neuroscience Seminars archive 2005-2018