The long-term goal of our research program is to elucidate the roles of peripheral and central glia and glial-glial interactions during nervous system development, maintenance and disease/injury. Using Danio rerio (zebrafish) as a model system (and to a lesser extent, mouse), we combine genetic and pharmacological perturbation, single cell manipulation, laser ablation/axotomy and in vivo, time-lapse imaging to directly and continuously observe glial cell origins, behaviors and interactions in an intact vertebrate.
In the lab, we study perineurial glia, the cells that make up the mature motor nerve perineurium, and development and maintenance of the motor exit point (MEP) transition zone (TZ). Previously, it was thought that the CNS and PNS were two distinct halves of the same organ system that were connected only by motor or sensory axons. However, work from the lab clearly reveals that glial cells are highly dynamic and migratory at nervous system TZs and we have uncovered intriguing new biology at these specialized locations in the nervous system. It is this biology that is a large focus of my lab. Currently, we have 5 main projects, but I’m always open to expanding that list!
See our "Projects" page for more details!!!
We're always interested in recruiting excited, passionate and determined new people to the lab! If interested in working in the Kucenas Lab, please shoot us an email. Thanks!
What we study: