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.
- 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
- B.A., Genetics, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, 1990
- Ph.D., Zoology, Oxford University, England, 1994
- BIOL/PSY 105 Introduction to Neuroscience
- BIOL 466/666 Developmental Biology
- Dascenco, D., Erfurth, M.L., Izadifar, A., Song, M., Sachse, S., Bortnick, R., Urwyler, O., Petrovic, M., Ayaz, D., He, H., Kise, Y., Thomas, F., Kidd, T. and Schmucker, D. (2015). Slit and receptor tyrosine phosphatase 69D confer spatial specificity to axon branching via Dscam1. Cell 162:1140-1154.
- Hernández, K., Myers, L., Bowser, M. and Kidd, T. (2015). Genetic tools for the analysis of Drosophila stomatogastric nervous system development. PLoS One 10(6):e0128290.
- Alavi, M., Song, M., King, G.A., Gillis, T., Propst, R., Bousum, A., Miller, A., Ryan, A. and Kidd, T. (2016). Dscam1 forms a complex with Robo1 and the N-terminal fragment of Slit to promote the growth of longitudinal axons. PLOS Biology 96:771-784.
- Justice, E., Barnum, S. and Kidd, T. (2017). The WAGR syndrome gene PRRG4 is a functional homologue of the Commissureless axon guidance gene. PLOS Genetics, 13(8): e1006865.
- Myers, L.M., Perera, H., Alvarado, M.G. and Kidd, T. (2018). The Drosophila Ret gene functions in the stomatogastric nervous system with the Maverick TGFbeta ligand and the Gfrl co-receptor. Development 145: dev157466.
- Kellermeyer, R., Heydman, L.M., Mastick, G.S. & Kidd, T. (2018). The role of apoptotic signaling in axon guidance. J. Dev. Biol. 6:24.
- Zhang, Z., So, K., Peterson, R., Bauer, M., Ng, H., Zhang, Y., Kim, J.H, Kidd, T. & Miura, P. (2019). Elav-mediated exon skipping and alternative polyadenylation of the Dscam1 gene is required for axon outgrowth. Cell Reports, 27:3808-3817.