Michael Rutlin B.S.(1999) University of Wisconsin-Whitewater
1) Investigating the requirement of Sonic Hedgehog for progenitor
cell maintenance in telencephalic stem cell niches.
2) Elucidating the mechanisms by which Notch 1 promotes FGF-responsive
neural stem cell identity in the telencephalon.
Even though these topics cover a broad range, the work above
suggests that specific links exist between the mechanisms
that control growth and regional patterning in the developing
nervous system. Two fundamental issues were addressed in these
studies. First, Sonic Hedgehog, a factor that has long been
proposed to act as a morphogen, also appears to play a dual
role in controlling proper cellular proliferation and the
maintenance of stem cell niches. Conversely, we demonstrate
that Notch and FGF signaling pathways cooperate together to
maintain a balance of stem cell and postmitotic populations,
without overtly effecting regional patterning. The cross talk
between signals that control growth and patterning is a fundamental
one and one I plan to explore further in graduate school.
In the fall of 2003,
I entered the neurobiology graduate program at Johns Hopkins
University School of Medicine. I am currently working
in the laboratory of Dr. David Ginty.