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Mission Statement

Our mission is to elucidate the cellular and molecular mechanisms that establish and regulate the microtubule arrays of the neuron during development, health and disease.

Goals of Our Laboratory

  1. Elucidate the roles microtubule play in neuronal development, with emphasis on issues including axon development, dendrite development, growth cone turning, neuronal migration and the branching of axons and dendrites.
  2. Understand the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which the microtubule arrays of the neuron are established and regulated to carry out their various functional roles, with emphasis on microtubule-based molecular motor proteins and microtubule-severing proteins.
  3. Elucidate the contribution of microtubule-based mechanisms to nerve degeneration that accompany disease and injury, with emphasis on spinal cord injury, Alzheimer’s disease and hereditary spastic paraplegia.
  4. Develop novel microtubule-based therapies for treating injured or diseased axons.

Toward these ends, we use a variety of contemporary techniques, including microscopic, biochemical and molecular assays.

When the researchers depleted the protein ninein — which holds the microtubules to the centrosome — the saw that an increased number of unattached microtubules led to abnormal neuronal migration. This suggests that while a little bit of sliding is helpful for neuronal migration, too much can be problematic. The video shows time-lapse images of a migrating granule neuron, treated with control siRNA(first cell) or ninein siRNA (second cell).

News and Announcements

The Chemicals They Carry
Thousands of U.S. soldiers returned from the 1991 Persian Gulf War with a mysterious, incurable illness. To find answers, College of Medicine researchers are reprogramming veterans' cells. eXel Drexel University Research Magazine (2018)

Study Finds Tau Protein Does Not Stabilize Microtubules, Challenges Approach to Treating Alzheimer's
DrexelNow (June 28, 2018)

"Study Shows How Neurons Reach Their Final Destinations"
DrexelNow (May 17, 2016)

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Peter Baas, PhD

Peter Baas, PhD
Professor and Lab Director