Kucenas, Sarah C.

Sarah Kucenas

Sarah C Kucenas

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Biology


  • BS, Biology, Valparaiso University
  • PhD, Pharmacological & Physiological Sciences, Saint Louis University
  • Postdoc, Developmental Neurobiology, Vanderbilt University Hospital

Contact Information

Dept. of Biology
PO Box 400328
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4328
Telephone: 434-982-5436
Email: sk4ub@virginia.edu
Website: http://www.kucenaslab.com

Research Interests

The role of glia in the development, maintenance and regeneration of the nervous system

Research Description

Traditionally, the central and peripheral nervous systems (CNS and PNS, respectively) have been thought of as two, distinct halves of one organ system that are only connected by small bundles of motor and sensory axons. In each half of the nervous system reside specific subpopulations of neurons and glia. Neurons are the electrically excitable cells of the nervous system that process and transmit information. Glia, which translates to "glue" in Greek, have long been thought of as only support cells that maintain the shape and integrity of the nervous system. However, over the last 25 years, research investigating these often ignored cells demonstrate that glia play essential roles in neural development, synapse formation and plasticity, learning and memory and disease, just to name a few. My interests lie in investigating the role of glia in nervous system development and disease, with the goal that the information I learn will lay the groundwork for a more fundamental understanding of the rules that form a functional nervous system and shed light on mechanisms that could be perturbed in disease.

Selected Publications