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Grant Mastick, Ph.D.

Professor

Grant Mastick

Contact Information

Degrees

  • Alma College, MI, B.S. Biology, Chemistry, 1986
  • Carnegie Mellon University, Ph.D. Biological Sciences, 1992
  • University of Michigan, Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Neurobiology, 1992-1998

Research Interests:

To build a brain, the embryo must produce a spatially organized array of a vast number of neurons, then interconnect them. Our research group uses genetic and molecular approaches in mouse and chick embryos to investigate the functions of specific genes in brain development. This research has implications for the molecular therapy of neurological disease and injury, and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Our current research is on the migration of neurons and their axons through the developing brain. We investigate how molecular signals guide axons to migrate precisely long distances on longitudinal pathways, and also how neuron cell bodies settle in specific positions.  Our studies focus on a system of signals, the Slit/Robo repellents and the Netrin attractants, to understand the mechanisms by which opposing signals are integrated by neurons.

Currently in the Mastick lab:

  • Farnaz Shoja-Taheri, Ph.D. student, CMB. Axon guidance by Netrin.
  • Brielle Bjorke, Ph.D. student, Biochemistry. Oculomotor neuron development and migration.
  • Minkyung Kim, Ph.D. Research Scientist. Motor neuron migration; Longitudinal axon guidance.
  • Katherine Weller, MS student CMB. Oculomotor neuron development and migration.
  • Charlene Dennemeyer, Neuroscience major. Axon guidance. 2011-present.
  • Colin Wilhelm, Biology major. Motor neuron migration. 2011-present.
  • Arielle Demarco, Neuroscience major. Axon guidance. 2012-present.
  • Siavash Mojibian, Neuroscience major. Axon guidance. 2012-present.

Publications

  • Arlene Bravo-Ambrosio, Grant S. Mastick, and Zaven Kaprielian. Motor axon exit from the mammalian spinal cord is controlled by the homeodomain protein Nkx2.9 via Robo-Slit signaling. Development. 2012 Apr;139(8):1435-46. (2012). http://dev.biologists.org/content/139/8/1435.long
  • Minkyung Kim, Andrew P Roesener, Philipe RF Mendonca, Grant S Mastick. Robo1 and Robo2 have distinct roles in pioneer longitudinal axon guidance. Developmental Biology 358:181-188. (2011). http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ydbio.2011.07.025
  • Itzel Ricaño-Cornejo, Amy L. Altick, Claudia García-Peña, Hikmet Feyza Nural, Diego Echevarría, Amaya Miquelajáuregui, Grant S. Mastick, and Alfredo Varela-Echavarría. Slit-Robo signals regulate pioneer axon pathfinding of the tract of the postoptic commissure in the mammalian forebrain. Journal of Neuroscience Research. 89(10):1531-41. (2011).
  • James P Dugan, Andrea Stratton, Hilary P Riley, W Todd Farmer, and Grant S Mastick. Midbrain dopaminergic axons are guided longitudinally through the diencephalon by Slit/Robo signals. Mol Cell Neurosci. 46(1):347-56. (2011) http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S104474311000254X
  • W. Todd Farmer, Amy L. Altick, Hikmet Feyza Nural, James P Dugan, Thomas Kidd, Frédéric Charron, and Grant S. Mastick. "Pioneer longitudinal axons navigate using floor plate and Slit/Robo signals." Development 135, 3643-3653 (2008). http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/135/22/3643
  • Gracie L. Andrews, Shawna Tanglao, W. Todd Farmer, Steves Morin, Steven Brotman, Michael A. Berberoglu, Hilary Price, George C. Fernandez, Grant S. Mastick, Frederic Charron, and Thomas Kidd. Dscam guides embryonic axons by Netrin-dependent and -independent functions. Development 135: 3839-3848 (2008). http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/135/23/3839
  • W. Todd Farmer, Amy L. Altick, Hikmet Feyza Nural, James P Dugan, Thomas Kidd, Frédéric Charron, and Grant S. Mastick. “Pioneer longitudinal axons navigate using floor plate and Slit/Robo signals.” Development 135, 3643-3653 (2008). http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/135/22/3643
  • Gracie L. Andrews, Shawna Tanglao, W. Todd Farmer, Steves Morin, Steven Brotman, Michael A. Berberoglu, Hilary Price, George C. Fernandez, Grant S. Mastick, Frederic Charron, and Thomas Kidd. Dscam guides embryonic axons by Netrin-dependent and -independent functions. Development 135: 3839-3848 (2008). http://dev.biologists.org/cgi/content/full/135/23/3839
  • Nural HF, Farmer WT, and Mastick Grant S. The Slit receptor Robo1 is predominantly expressed via the Dutt1 alternative promoter in pioneer neurons in the embryonic mouse brain and spinal cord. Gene Expression Patterns, 7: 837-845 (2007).
  • Amy L. Altick, Christopher Dravis, Tracey Bowdler, Mark Henkemeyer, and Grant S. Mastick. EphB receptor tyrosine kinases control morphological development of the ventral midbrain. Mechanisms of Development 122: 501-512 (2005).
  • Gary T. Philips, Carrie N. Stair, Hae Young, Emily Wroblewski, Michael A. Berberoglu, Nadean L. Brown, and Grant S. Mastick. Precocious retinal neurons: Pax6 controls timing of differentiation and determination of cell type. Developmental Biology 279(2):308-21 (2005).
  • H. Feyza Nural and Grant S. Mastick. Pax6 guides a relay of pioneer longitudinal axons in the embryonic mouse forebrain. J Comparative Neurology 479:399–409 (2004).
  • Gracie L. Andrews and Grant S. Mastick. R-cadherin is a Pax6-regulated, growth-promoting cue for pioneer axons. Journal of Neuroscience 23: 98739880 (2003).
  • Gracie L. Andrews, Kyuson Yun, John L.R. Rubenstein, and Grant S. Mastick. Dlx transcription factors regulate differentiation of dopaminergic neurons of the ventral thalamus. Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience 23: 107-120 (2003).
  • M. Swartz, Johann Eberhart, Grant S. Mastick, and Catherine E. Krull. Sparking new frontiers: using in vivo electroporation for genetic manipulations. Developmental Biology 233: 13-21 (2001).
  • Grant S. Mastick, Gracie L. Andrews, Nicole M. Davis, and Stephen S. Easter, Jr. “Pax-6 functions in boundary formation and axon guidance in the embryonic mouse forebrain.” Development 124: 1985-1997 (1997).
  • Grant S. Mastick and Stephen S. Easter, Jr. “Initial organization of neurons and tracts in the embryonic mouse fore- and midbrain.” Developmental Biology 173:79-94. (1996).

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