Richard I. Dorsky, Ph.D.

Title
Professor
Department
Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
Institution
University of Utah
Address
401 MREB
20 North 1900 East
City, State, Zip
Salt Lake City, UT 84132
Phone
(801) 581-6073
E-mail
richard.dorsky[at]neuro.utah.edu
Website
http://www.neuroscience.med.utah.edu/Faculty/Dorsky.html
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2003

Research

During development of the central nervous system (CNS), cells are influenced by their environment to adopt specific fates. These environmental signals are crucial for the correct patterning of cell types and their subsequent functional connections. My laboratory is studying the role of the Wnt/B-catenin signaling pathway in CNS cell fate specification. We use zebrafish as a model organism, focusing on the regulation of Wnt/B-catenin target genes in the CNS by a family of transcription factors called Tcf proteins. Tcfs are required for B-catenin to regulate transcription, and can act as repressors or activators of target genes depending on the state of Wnt signaling. Three major questions are being addressed: (1) What cells in the CNS require B-catenin/Tcf signaling? (2) What is the function of Tcf proteins in these cells? (3) Which genes are Lef/Tcf targets during CNS cell differentiation?