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Elucidating mechanisms of microglial tiling

Wu Tsai Neurosciences Institute, Tamara Chan

In a process called tiling, homeostatic microglia homogenously organize in a grid-like fashion to achieve efficient surveillance of the brain. The molecular mechanisms underlying tiling are unknown. I hypothesize that microglia use cell-surface proteins to sense density of neighboring microglia, thereby contributing to constant cell-to-cell distances. I will use in situ proximity labeling and mass spectrometry in a model of microglial repopulation to identify key cell-surface proteins involved in regulating density, then perform a genetic screen in a human stem cell model to determine the proteins’ individual contributions to tiling. This study will advance knowledge of basic homeostatic microglial functions.

Participants

Lead Researcher(s): 

Primary Advisor: Marius Wernig (Pathology and by courtesy CSB)
Co-Advisor: Liqun Luo (Biology and by courtesy Neurobiology)

Funding Type: 
SIGF - Graduate Fellowship
Award Year: 
2021