Department of Neurobiology
The University of Chicago
947 E. 58th St., MC0926
Chicago, IL 60637
Phone: (773) 702-9609
Lab: (773) 702-2896
Fax: (773) 702-1216 Office: Abbott 221 (MC 0926)
Ragsdale Lab website
My laboratory studies the cellular and molecular control of brain nucleogenesis. We are particularly interested in the signals that govern cell-type specification in early brain development and the mechanisms that regulate how young neurons migrate to form nuclei of the appropriate size and shape. The focus of our current work is on the development of the ventral midbrain and the telencephalon.
The key structural feature of the vertebrate brain is that neurons are organized into discrete territories known as nuclei. The role of nuclei is to organize neural circuitry. Thus, for a neuron, its shape, the connections it makes, and the proteins it expresses are dependent on the nucleus it resides in. Dozens of different nuclei can be distinguished in the vertebrate brain, and yet little is known about how these structures are formed during development.
My laboratory studies brain nucleogenesis in the chick embryo using cellular, molecular and genetic techniques. We are particularly interested in the signals that govern cell-type specification, the molecules that regulate how young neurons migrate to their future nuclear locations, and the mechanisms by which internuclear circuitry is established. Our current work is on the development of the sensory-motor systems of the brainstem that control eye movements.
Hasan, K.B., Agarwala, S., and Ragsdale, C.W. (2010) PHOX2A regulation of oculomotor complex nucleogenesis. Development 137, 1205-1213.
Agarwala, S. and Ragsdale, C.W. (2009) Midbrain patterning. In Encyclopedia of Neuroscience (ed. L.R. Squire) volume 5, pp. 879-886. Elsevier, Amsterdam.