Glia express a wide range of extracellular matrix (ECM) receptors and these are conserved in non-myelinating glia in many animals. We are testing how these ECM receptors function to drive glial sheath development and support the maintenance of the peripheral nerves as the animal moves.
Glia make extensive contacts with neurons and other glia. But the mechanisms and function of contact between the different glia layers is not well known. We are asking how the glial layers of the Drosophila peripheral nervous system communicate during sheath formation and maintenance of the nerve .
Glia and epithelial cells form permeability barriers in Drosophila through both septate junctions between two cells and at the corners of cells, at the tricellular junction. We study the protein components and mechanisms that underlie the formation of these junctions in both glial and epithelial cells.
We are located in the Life Sciences Center at the University of British Columbia Vancouver campus.