Research Overview

Rosalind Segal's laboratory is interested in mechanisms whereby extracellular stimuli regulate proliferation and survival in the developing nervous system. These processes are tightly regulated to prevent neurodegenerative diseases as well as tumor formation. The neurotrophins play a major role in the regulation of survival. Segal and colleagues have analyzed the mechanism by which neurotrophins, made by target tissues such as the skin, regulate survival of developing sensory neurons. Their data indicate that one mechanism of signal propagation is retrograde vesicular transport of activated Trk-ligand complexes. These vesicular receptors subsequently activate the Erk5 pathway, which is critical for survival of sensory neurons.

The laboratory's studies on proliferation have focused on the developing cerebellum. Cerebellar granule cell precursors migrate and proliferate under the regulation of several factors, including BDNF, a chemokine CXCL12, and Sonic Hedgehog. The researchers are investigating the ways in which these factors work together to allow the appropriate pattern of proliferation and migration of granule cells. The pathways activated by these factors are likely to be important for the unregulated proliferation of brain tumor cells.

About Rosalind Segal

Dr. Segal received her PhD in 1985 from Rockefeller University and her MD in 1986 from Cornell University Medical College. She completed a residency in the Harvard Neurology Program. And a postdoctoral fellowship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

She was named Robert Ebert Clinical Scholar, Klingenstein Fund for 1999 and received th Claudia Adams Barr Investigator in Innovative Cancer Research, DFC for 1998.


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  • Nerve Cell Proliferation

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