Dr. Mohanish Deshmukh
UNC Neuroscience Center
Cell Biology and Physiology
Co-Director UNC MD/PhD Program
We study how cells regulate their survival and death. We focus on these pathways in neurons from their birth to death in the dynamic contexts of development, long-term maintenance, and disease.
We use molecular and cell biological approaches in three model systems:
i) Primary neurons;
ii) Stem cells undergoing neuronal differentiation;
iii) Mouse models of neurodevelopmental (g. Autism, Schizophrenia) and neurodegenerative (e.g. Alzheimer’s) disorders.
Some Questions Currently Under Investigation:
How is the apoptotic pathway regulated in young and mature neurons?
How does a neuron undergo precise axon pruning where it selectively degrades the targeted axons yet protects the soma?
How do the survival and death pathways change dynamically as mitotic stem cells differentiate into postmitotic neurons?
Can we utilize the survival mechanisms engaged by the healthy brain to prevent neurodegeneration?