Portrait of Thomas Kidd in his lab holding two test tubes and wearing a lab coat.

Thomas Kidd

Professor

Summary

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. We are particularly interested in a navigational cue called Slit that normally repels growing axons, but can be processed into a signal that promotes axon growth and branching. Slit fragments may even attract axons, in part by binding the Dscam protein. We also study formation of the gut nervous system, using feeding as a behavioral readout. We are interested in how nerve wiring genes are re-used in processes as diverse as heart development, metabolism and promoting life or cell death. Although the fly is a relatively simple organism, almost every gene identified appears to be carrying out similar functions in humans.

Biography

  • 1994-1999 Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Berkeley
  • 1999-2003 Senior Scientist, Exelixis Inc., South San Francisco
  • 2003-present Biology Department, University of Nevada, Reno

Education

  • B.A., Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 1990
  • Ph.D., Zoology, Oxford University, England, 1994

Courses taught

  • BIOL/PSY 105 Introduction to Neuroscience
  • BIOL 466/666 Developmental Biology

Selected publications

PubMed

Google Scholar profile

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