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Canadian Institutes of Health Research Group in Sensory-Motor Systems


Research Staff:

Monica Neuber-Hess: Research Associate

                Monica provides the technical wizardry that is crucial to the success of our immunocytochemistry experiments, electron microscopic studies, and neuroanatomical investigations.  She also ensures the smooth operation of the day-to-day activity of the lab.

Peter Vandervoort:Research Technician

                Peter recently joined our lab and is becoming the resident expert in Neurolucida.  He also has experience in the care of chronic animals and plays an indispensable role in ensuring that our experimental animals are healthy.

 Graduate Students:

Victoria MacDermid: PhD candidate

                Victoria is the lead investigator in studies devoted to the effect of axotomy on neuronal polarity.  She has systematically mapped the distribution of proteins specific for axons (GAP-43) and dendrites (MAP2a/b) in intact and axotomized motoneurons.  The results of her studies provide the foundation for our claim that dendrites can serve as a springboard for the growth of new axons following permanent axotomy.  For more information, see the project entitled: RE-ESTABLISHING CONNECTIONS LOST DUE TO SPINAL CORD INJURY: A ROLE FOR AXON-LIKE PROCESSES ORIGINATION FROM DENDRITES?  and Rose et al., Eur. J. Neurosci. 13:1166-1176 (2001).

Tuan Bui: Msc candidate

                Tuan joined our lab after completing a dual degree in Applied Mathematics in the Faculty of Applied Science and Life Sciences in the Faculty of Health Sciences.  He is our resident guru of computational modeling and is responsible for building compartmental models of spinal interneurons that incorporate quantitative descriptions of their innervation, dendritic geometry, and distribution of voltage-dependent channels.  For more information on this project, see: REGULATION OF SPINAL INTERNEURON INPUT/OUTPUT FUNCTIONS.

John Grande: PhD candidate

                We welcome John from the Department of Kinesology at York University where he recorded single unit EMG activity in humans during voluntary and reflex muscle contractions as part of his MSc thesis.  John will be responsible for determining the magnitude of non-linear interactions between excitatory synapses on neck motoneurons and the role played by the location of the synapses on the dendritic tree.  For more information, see: CONTRIBUTION OF DENDRITIC STRUCTURE TO THE INPUT/OUTPUT PROPERTIES OF NECK MOTONEURONS.

 Undergraduate Students:

                For several years our research has benefited from the enthusiastic participation of students in their final year of Life Sciences or Applied Sciences.  This year is no exception. 

                Maria Ter-Mikaelian is a fourth year Life Science student with experience in computational modeling and dendritic tree reconstructions (the latter thanks to the laboratory of Dr. Robert Burke, NIH).  Maria will utilize this experience in a computational study designed to test the hypothesis that voltage-dependent calcium channels on dendrites of neck motoneurons are strategically located on proximal dendrites, 200 to 400 Ám from the soma.

                Nicole Skelton, fresh from a summer research position in our lab, will be engaged in experiments related to the study of axon-like processes that emerge from distal dendrites of axotomized motoneurons.

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Updated Aug 9, 2001