MAINTENANCE OF NERVOUS SYSTEM STRUCTURE OVER TIME
Axonal degeneration can occur as a result of nerve injury or through the disruption of neuronal maintenance mechanisms, and is a hallmark of neurodegenerative disorders such as motor neuron, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Charcot-Marie-Tooth diseases. Despite the importance of this process, we lack a complete understanding of the molecules and mechanisms employed by neurons to preserve their axons over a lifetime, which has hampered the development of effective therapies.
We aim to identify and characterise the cellular mechanisms necessary for the maintenance of axonal structure over an animals’ lifetime, such that when these factors are disrupted by genetic mutation axonal degeneration occurs. We identify these factors using candidate gene approaches and forward genetic screening techniques in C. elegans.