Departments of Neurology and Otolaryngology
Center for Life Science, Rm. 12.256
3 Blackfan Circle
Boston, MA 02115
The Corfas laboratory is interested in the mechanisms of cell-cell interactions and their roles in the regulation of cell fate, survival, differentiation and function in the nervous system. In particular, we focus on the interactions between neurons and glia. Although glia (astrocytes, oligodendrocytes, Schwann cells, radial glia) has long been considered to function merely as supporting (or connective) tissue, new research has shown that these glial cells play critical roles in the development, maintenance and function of the nervous system.
Part of our work centers on the growth factor neuregulin (NRG) and its erbB receptors, as key mediators of neuron-glia interactions. To this end we are using cell and molecular techniques to determine the mechanisms of intracellular signaling by the erbB receptor tyrosine kinases and their roles in regulating gene expression, cell survival and differentiation.
We are also using genetically modified mice to study the various functions of this signaling pathway in cell-cell interactions in vivo. By doing these studies we are in the midst of uncovering new important roles of glia in nervous system disease and defining new models to explore the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases.
For a complete listing of publications click here.
Last Update: 8/1/2012