Dietmar Schmucker, Ph.D.

Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Title
Professor
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Department
Department of Molecular and Cellular Medicine
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Institution
Katholieke Universiteit Leuven
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Address
KU Leuven CDG-9-46
Campus Gathuisberg
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.City
Leuven
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Phone
+32 163 479 14
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Email
[email protected]
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.Website
http://www.vib.be/en/research/scientists/Pages/Dietmar-Schmucker-Lab.aspx
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.ResearchField
Neuroscience
Pew.Feature.Scholar.Bio.AwardYear
2002

Research

In our lab, we investigate molecular mechanisms that control the development of sensory nerves. We take advantage of the powerful genetics of the model organism Drosophila (fruit fly) to characterize genes that allow growing nerve processes to connect to other nerve cells and form a functional brain. We have identified the receptor protein Dscam, which is specifically expressed on the surface of growing nerves. Flies that lack Dscam exhibit strong disruptions of many nerve connections and die as embryos. One of the most exciting aspects of the Dscam protein is its enormous number of subtly different isoforms (approximately 38,000) present on developing nerves, suggesting the provocative possibility that these different forms may provide unique “molecular fingerprints” for different nerve fibers.

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