Paul Bridgman Research Abstract

My laboratory focuses on the basic cellular properties of developing nerve and muscle with emphasis on relating structure to function. Several different projects are currently underway. The first involves the mechanism of nerve growth cone locomotion and the relationship between growth cone motility, guidance and nerve outgrowth. The focus of this work is on the mechanoenzymes and cytoskeletal components that are likely to participate in growth cone motility. Cellular and molecular methods are being used to locate and disrupt the activity of mechanoenzymes and cytoskeletal polymers, such as actin filaments and microtubules thought to be important for locomotion.

The second projects focuses on developing new techniques to guide growing neurons in cell culture. We have developed a new method of forming substrate patterns that can be produced after cells have been plated. This allows us to change the direction of growth interactively and form simple neuronal circuits.