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Sampling of C. elegans Researchers at Einstein

Michael Aschner, Ph.D., professor of molecular pharmacology, in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience, and of pediatrics, and the Harold & Muriel Block Chair in Molecular Pharmacology

Using roundworms, rodents, and tissue cultures as experimental models, Dr. Aschner studies how heavy metals, such as methylmercury and manganese, are transported in the nervous system and cause neurodegeneration.

Hannes E. Buelow, Ph.D., professor of genetics and in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Buelow works with roundworms to understand how developing axons and dendrites (which relay signals away from and to neurons, respectively) navigate the extracellular space in order to connect to their partner neurons. Improper neuronal connections have been linked to a range of neurological problems, including Alzheimer’s disease, schizophrenia, and autism spectrum disorders.

David Hall, Ph.D., professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

Dr. Hall, a pioneer in the use of electron microscopy to  study the roundworm connectome, currently uses the technique to map neural connections and neural development in both younger and older roundworms and in mutants—work that may improve our understanding of early development and aging. As described in “The WormAtlas: All Things Anatomical in One Place,” Dr. Hall also serves as director of this premier online resource for C. elegans researchers.

Peri Kurshan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Dominick P. Purpura Department of Neuroscience

A new member of the Einstein faculty, Dr. Kurshan studies synapse formation in C. elegans, with the goal of understanding how defects in the development and function of synapses lead to neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorders and intellectual disability.

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