Wesley Grueber, PhD
- Professor of Physiology & Cellular Biophysics
- Professor of Neuroscience
- Co-Director, Doctoral Program in Neurobiology and Behavior
Credentials & Experience
Education & Training
- BS, 1993 Biological Sciences, University of California, Irvine
- PhD, 2000 Zoology, University of Washington
- 2005 Postdoc, University of California, San Francisco
Dendrites and axons show extraordinarily diverse forms and modes of patterning, with important implications for nervous system wiring and neuronal function. Our lab is interested in how neurons acquire their type-specific morphology and organization and how this organization underlies circuit function. To approach this problem, we use molecular, genetic, anatomical, and behavioral approaches to identify the mechanisms that sculpt somatosensory circuits during development.
Using the fruit flyDrosophilawe can dissect the mechanisms of nervous system patterning and function with cell type specificity. For example we identified the mechanisms that allow branches from the same cell to spread from each other to cover their appropriate territory, a basic feature of most or all neuronal arbors. This process of “self-avoidance” is controlled by the highly diversified homophilic immunoglobulin superfamily member Dscam1. We also showed that repulsion is also enforced by integrin receptors for the extracellular matrix.
Current interests in the lab include 1) identification of interneuron populations that transmit somatosensory information and the contribution of these neurons to behavior (see Burgos et al., 2018), 2) the mechanisms that underlie specific connectivity between primary sensory neurons and target interneurons, 3) cell-extrinsic cues that mediate targeting and morphogenesis of both dendrites and axons, and 4) imaging neuronal activity and behavior in intact Drosophila larvae to shed light on neural circuit function, in collaboration with the Hillman lab at the Zuckerman Institute (see Vaadia & Li, et al., 2019).
- Axon Pathfinding and Synaptogenesis
- Cell Specification and Differentiation
- Neural Degeneration and Repair
- Synapses and Circuits