faculty & research

THOMAS M. JESSELL

THOMAS M. JESSELL

THOMAS M. JESSELL

Email: tmj1@columbia.edu
Phone: 212-305-1531
Location: HHSC-1013



Studies in the lab are aimed at defining the molecular mechanisms that control the early development of the vertebrate nervous system. Our work focuses on two primary issues. 1. What are the strategies and molecules used to specify the identity of the multiple and functionally diverse cell types generated in the embryonic central nervous system? 2. How do individual subclasses of neurons project their axons along specific pathways and form selective connections with target cells? Both issues are being addressed in the context of the developing spinal cord, the simplest and best understood subdivision of the central nervous system. Our recent studies have used mouse molecular genetics and cell biology to identify secreted signaling molecules and transcription factors that control the fate of neural cells and proteins that act as environmental ligands and cell surface receptors used in the guidance of axons.

Selected Publications

Nagai M, Re DB, Nagata T, Chalazonitis A, Jessell TM, Wichterle H, Przedborski S.:(2007)Astrocytes expressing ALS-linked mutated SOD1 release factors selectively toxic to motor neurons.Nat Neurosci10:615-622

Yoshida Y, Han B, Mendelsohn M, Jessell TM.:(2006)PlexinA1 signaling directs the segregation of proprioceptive sensory axons in the developing spinal cord.Neuron52:775-788

Nordstrom U, Maier E, Jessell TM, Edlund T.:(2006)An early role for WNT signaling in specifying neural patterns of Cdx and Hox gene expression and motor neuron subtype identity.PLoS Biol4:e252

Patel SD, Ciatto C, Chen CP, Bahna F, Rajebhosale M, Arkus N, Schieren I, Jessell TM, Honig B, Price SR, Shapiro L.:(2006)Type II cadherin ectodomain structures: implications for classical cadherin specificity.Cell124:1255-68

Chen AI, de Nooij JC, Jessell TM.:(2006)Graded activity of transcription factor Runx3 specifies the laminar termination pattern of sensory axons in the developing spinal cord.Neuron49:395-408