Based in large part on the ongoing work of MSTP student Jessica Neville Little (G3), the NIH recently funded an R21 award to Jessica’s mentor, Dr. Noelle Dwyer. The Title of the Grant is “Linking abscission defects to p53-dependent apoptosis in neural stem cells” and Jessica summarized the goals of the award as follows: In a genetic model of microcephaly, loss of the kinesin Kif20b results in abnormal cytokinetic abscission in neural stem cells, apoptosis and
reduced brain size. By crossing the Kif20b mutant to the p53 mutant mouse, we found that apoptosis and embryonic brain size is completely rescued. This grant seeks to investigate the cellular and molecular pathways that lead from Kif20b loss to p53 activation.
Congratulations to both Jessica and her mentor, Dr. Noelle Dwyer!