The Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience provides pre-professional undergraduate students with a foundation of biological knowledge that prepares them for pursuit of careers in medicine and medically-related fields, biotechnology, biological research, biology teaching, and other related professions. It provides MSU undergraduates with an understanding of basic biology sufficient to insure informed participation in society, and trains, through our Ph.D. program, a new generation of biological scientists equipped to exploit advanced experimental and computational approaches to develop comprehensive understandings of complex biological systems. It aims to develop, through research, new knowledge in several key areas of cell biology and neuroscience.

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Recent Submissions

  • Avian tail ontogeny, pygostyle formation, and interpretation of juvenile Mesozoic specimens 

    Rashid, Dana J.; Surya, Kevin; Chiappe, Luis M.; Carroll, Nathan; Garrett, Kimball L.; Varghese, Bino; Bailleul, Alida M.; O'Connor, Jingmai K.; Chapman, Susan C.; Horner, John R. (2018-06)
    The avian tail played a critical role in the evolutionary transition from long- to short-tailed birds, yet its ontogeny in extant birds has largely been ignored. This deficit has hampered efforts to effectively identify ...
  • Elongator and codon bias regulate protein levels in mammalian peripheral neurons 

    Goffena, Joy; Lefcort, Frances; Zhang, Yongqing; Lehrmann, Elin; Chaverra, Marta; Felig, Jehremy; Walters, Joseph; Buksch, Richard; Becker, Kevin G.; George, Lynn (2018-03)
    Familial dysautonomia (FD) results from mutation in IKBKAP/ELP1, a gene encoding the scaffolding protein for the Elongator complex. This highly conserved complex is required for the translation of codon-biased genes in ...
  • A PAX5-OCT4-PRDM1 developmental switch specifies human primordial germ cells 

    Fang, Fang; Angulo, Benjamin; Xia, Ninuo; Sukhwani, Meena; Wang, Zhengyuan; Carey, Charles C.; Mazurie, Aurélien J.; Cui, Jun; Wilkinson, Royce; Wiedenheft, Blake; Irie, Naoko; Surani, M. Azim; Orwig, Kyle E.; Reijo Pera, Renee A. (2018-04)
    Dysregulation of genetic pathways during human germ cell development leads to infertility. Here, we analysed bona fide human primordial germ cells (hPGCs) to probe the developmental genetics of human germ cell specification ...
  • Dimerization of the voltage-sensing phosphatase controls its voltage-sensing and catalytic activity 

    Rayaprolu, Vamseedhar; Royal, Perrine; Stengel, Karen; Sandoz, Guillaume; Kohout, Susy C. (2018-05)
    Multimerization is a key characteristic of most voltage-sensing proteins. The main exception was thought to be the Ciona intestinalis voltage-sensing phosphatase (Ci-VSP). In this study, we show that multimerization is ...
  • Changes in the stability and biomechanics of P22 bacteriophage capsid during maturation 

    Kant, Ravi; Llauro, Aida; Rayaprolu, Vamseedhar; Qazi, Shefah; de Pablo, Pedro J.; Douglas, Trevor; Bothner, Brian (2018-06)
    The capsid of P22 bacteriophage undergoes a series of structural transitions during maturation that guide it from spherical to icosahedral morphology. The transitions include the release of scaffold proteins and capsid ...
  • Neural crest development in Xenopus requires Protocadherin 7 at the lateral neural crest border 

    Rashid, Dana; Puettmann, Paul; Roy, Ethan; Bradley, Roger S. (2018-02)
    In vertebrates, the neural crest is a unique population of pluripotent cells whose development is dependent onsignalin g from neighbori ng tissues. Cadherin family members, including protocadherins, are emerging asmajor ...
  • Pediatric care during a short-term medical mission to a Syrian refugee camp in Northern Jordan 

    Abbott, Kenneth L.; Woods, Catherine A.; Halim, Dahlia A.; Qureshi, Henna A. (2017-12)
    Introduction The Syrian refugee crisis, now in its 6th year, has displaced millions. Refugees depend on support from host nation governments and humanitarian organizations like the Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS). ...
  • Women's perceptions of health, quality of life, and malaria management in Kakamega County, Western Province, Kenya 

    Dunkel, Florence V.; Hansen, Leanna M.; Halvorson, Sarah J.; Bangert, Arthur (2017-07)
    We assess women's perceptions of health risks in relation to quality of life concerns, with attention to variables viewed as central to maintaining or improving health and well-being. In this paper, we specifically underscore ...
  • Spatial working memory alters the efficacy of input to visual cortex 

    Merrikhi, Yaser; Clark, Kelsey; Albarran, Eddy; Parsa, Mohammadbagher; Zirnsak, Marc; Moore, Tirin; Noudoost, Behrad (2017-04)
    Prefrontal cortex modulates sensory signals in extrastriate visual cortex, in part via its direct projections from the frontal eye field (FEF), an area involved in selective attention. We find that working memory-related ...
  • Over Expression of NANOS3 and DAZL in Human Embryonic Stem Cells 

    Panula, Sarita; Reda, Ahmed; Stukenborg, Jan-Bernd; Ramathal, Cyril; Sukhwani, Meena; Albalushi, Halima; Edsgard, Daniel; Nakamura, Michiko; Soder, Olle; Orwig, Kyle E.; Yamanaka, Shinya; Reijo Pera, Renne A. (2016-10)
    The mechanisms underlying human germ cell development are largely unknown, partly due to the scarcity of primordial germ cells and the inaccessibility of the human germline to genetic analysis. Human embryonic stem cells ...
  • The Familial Dysautonomia disease gene, Ikbkap/Elp1, is required in the developing and adult central nervous system 

    Chaverra, Marta; George, Lynn; Mergy, Marc; Waller, Hannah; Kujawa, Katharine; Murnion, Connor; Sharples, Ezekiel; Thorne, Julian; Podgajny, Nathaniel; Grindeland, Andrea; Ueki, Yumi; Eiger, Steven; Cusick, Cassie; Babcock, A. Michael; Carlson, George A.; Lefcort, Frances (2017-02)
    Hereditary sensory and autonomic neuropathies (HSANs) are a genetically and clinically diverse group of disorders defined by peripheral nervous system (PNS) dysfunction. HSAN Type III, Familial Dysautonomia (FD), results ...
  • Experimental observation of phase-flip transitions in the brain 

    Dotson, Nicholas M; Gray, Charles M (2016-10)
    The phase-flip transition has been demonstrated in a host of coupled nonlinear oscillator models, many pertaining directly to understanding neural dynamics. However, there is little evidence that this phenomenon occurs in ...
  • The Drosophila prage Gene, Required for Maternal Transcript Destabilization in Embryos, Encodes a Predicted RNA Exonuclease 

    Cui, Jun; Lai, Yun Wei; Sartain, Caroline V.; Zuckerman, Rebecca M.; Wolfner, Mariana F. (2016-06)
    Egg activation, the transition of mature oocytes into developing embryos, is critical for the initiation of embryogenesis. This process is characterized by resumption of meiosis, changes in the egg's coverings and by ...
  • Quantification of dopaminergic neuron differentiation and neurotoxicity via a genetic reporter. 

    Cui, Jun; Rotstein, Megan; Bennett, Theo; Zhangm, Pengbo; Xia, Ninuo; Reijo Pera, Renee A. (2016-04)
    Human pluripotent stem cells provide a powerful human-genome based system for modeling human diseases in vitro and for potentially identifying novel treatments. Directed differentiation of pluripotent stem cells produces ...
  • TrkB/BDNF signalling patterns the sympathetic nervous system 

    Kasemeier-Kulesa, Jennifer S.; Morrison, Jason A.; Lefcort, Frances; Kulesa, Paul M. (2015-09)
    The sympathetic nervous system is essential for maintaining mammalian homeostasis. How this intricately connected network, composed of preganglionic neurons that reside in the spinal cord and post-ganglionic neurons that ...
  • Voltage-sensing phosphatase modulation by a C2 domain 

    Castle, Paul M.; Zolman, Kevin D.; Kohout, Susy C. (2015-04)
    The voltage-sensing phosphatase (VSP) is the first example of an enzyme controlled by changes in membrane potential. VSP has four distinct regions: the transmembrane voltage-sensing domain (VSD), the inter-domain linker, ...
  • Non-Invasive Quantification of Cartilage Using a Novel In Vivo Bioluminescent Reporter Mouse 

    Mailhiot, Sarah E.; Zignego, Donald L.; Prigge, Justin R.; Wardwell, Ella R.; Schmidt, Edward E.; June, Ron K. (2015-07)
    Mouse models are common tools for examining post-traumatic osteoarthritis (OA), which involves cartilage deterioration following injury or stress. One challenge to current mouse models is longitudinal monitoring of the ...
  • From dinosaurs to birds: a tail of evolution 

    Rashid, Dana; Chapman, Susan; Larsson, Hans; Organ, Chris L.; Merzdorf, Christa; Bradley, Roger; Horner, Jack (2014-05)
    A particularly critical event in avian evolution was the transition from long- to short-tailed birds. Primitive bird tails underwent significant alteration, most notably reduction of the number of caudal vertebrae and ...
  • X chromosome inactivation: recent advances and a look forward 

    Reijo Pera, Renee A.; Briggs, Sharon F. (Elsevier, 2014-10)
    X chromosome inactivation, the transcriptional inactivation of one X chromosome in somatic cells of female mammals, has revealed important advances in our understanding of development, epigenetic control, and RNA biology. ...