Dwyer, Noelle

Noelle Dwyer

Noelle Dwyer

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Cell Biology


  • BA, Biochemistry, Rice University
  • PhD, Neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco
  • Postdoc, Neurodevelopment, The Salk Institute
  • Postdoc, Neurogenetics, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA

Contact Information

intellectual disability
schizophrenia, or autism?
Telephone: 2-0692
Email: ndd9b@virginia.edu

Research Interests

Neural Development; Cell Division in Neural Stem Cells; Axon Outgrowth and Guidance

Research Description

Development of the Cerebral Cortex Your cerebral cortex mediates your conscious sensory perceptions, thoughts, and behaviors. To perform these functions, the cortex must develop the proper structure and circuitry during early life. Our lab works to help understand this process, and the disruptions that cause neurodevelopmental disorders. In the embryo, the cortex begins as an epithelial sheet of neural stem cells. The sheet expands and balloons outward due to symmetric divisions of these polarized cells. Later, the stem cells divide asymmetrically, eventually generating billions of neurons and glia. The neurons and glia form a six-layered structure with different areas specialized for functions such as vision or hearing. Finally, neurons within each area must be wired" to other specific brain regions through axonal connections. The genetic and cellular mechanisms that control all these events are only beginning to be understood

Selected Publications