Thomas Kidd, Ph.D.
- Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, B.A.mod., Genetics, 1990
- Oxford University, England, D.Phil., Zoology, 1994
- University of California at Berkeley, Postdoctoral Fellow, 1994-1999
- Exelixis Inc., South San Francisco, Senior Scientist, 1999-2003
The wiring of nervous systems is composed of axons, specialized extensions of neurons that transmit electrical impulses. During development axons navigate long distances to their targets. We use fruit fly genetics to study how axons navigate correctly. In the fly equivalent of a spinal cord, axons are attracted to the center of symmetry, the midline, by diffusible proteins called Netrins. We have identified the Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule (Dscam) as a novel Netrin receptor. Dscam also binds other diffusible molecules that represent missing midline attractants. We have generated adult flies lacking these signals; they exhibit specific behavioral defects that provide a functional readout for the consequences of incorrect wiring. We are also studying formation of the gut nervous system and the links between guiding axons and tumor progression. Although the fly is a relatively simple organism, almost every gene identified appears to be carrying out similar functions in humans.
- Newquist, G., Drennan, J.M., Lamanuzzi, M., Walker, K., Clemens, J.C. and Kidd, T. (2013). Blocking apoptotic signaling rescues axon guidance in Netrin mutants. Cell Reports 3:595-605. Nevada Today article. Video.
- Kidd, T. (2009). Neuroscience: crossing the line. Science, 324:893-894.
- Cavalcanti, F., Kidd, T., Patitucci, A., Valentino, P., Bono, F., Nistico, R., & Quattrone, A. (2009). An axon regeneration signature in a Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease Type 2 patient. Journal of Neurogenetics 23:324-328.
- Andrews, G.L., Tanglao, S., Farmer, W.T., Morin, S., Brotman, S., Berberoglu, M., Price, H., Mastick, G., Charron, F. and Kidd, T. (2008). Down Syndrome Cell Adhesion Molecule is an evolutionarily conserved Netrin receptor required for axon guidance and cell migration. Development, 135:3839-48.
- Farmer, W.T., Altick, A.L., Nural, H.F., Dugan, J.P., Kidd, T., Charron, F. and Mastick, G.S. (2008). Pioneer longitudinal axons navigate using floor plate and Slit/Robo signals. Development, 135:3643-53.
- Kidd, T., Abu-Shumays, R., Katzen, A., Sisson, J., Jimenez, G., Pinchin, S., Sullivan, W., Ish-Horowicz, D. (2005). The epsilon subunit of mitochondrial ATP synthase is required for normal spindle orientation during the Drosophila embryonic divisions. Genetics. 170:697-708.
- Wang, K.H., Brose, K., Arnott, D., Kidd, T., Goodman, C.S., Henzel, W. and Tessier-Lavigne, M. (1999). Biochemical purification of a mammalian slit protein as a positive regulator of sensory axon elongation and branching. Cell. 96:771-784.
- Brose, K., Bland, K.S., Wang, K.H., Arnott, D., Henzel, W., Goodman, C.S., Tessier-Lavigne, M. and Kidd, T. (1999). Slit proteins bind Robo receptors and have an evolutionarily conserved role in repulsive axon guidance. Cell. 96:795-806.
- Kidd, T., Bland, K.S. and Goodman, C.S. (1999). Slit is the midline repellent for the Robo receptor in Drosophila. Cell. 96:785-794.
- Kidd, T., Russell, C., Goodman, C.S. and Tear, G. (1998). Dosage sensitive and complimentary functions of roundabout and commissureless control axon crossing of the CNS midline. Neuron. 20:25-33.
- Kidd, T., Brose, K., Mitchell, K.J., Fetter, R.D., Tessier-Lavigne, M., Goodman, C.S. and Tear, G. (1998). Roundabout controls axon crossing of the CNS midline and defines a novel subfamily of evolutionarily conserved guidance receptors. Cell. 92:205-215.