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Senior Investigator Award funds research into neuronal development

19 June 2014

Professor Alun Davies of the School of Biosciences has been awarded a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Award to continue studies into the molecular mechanisms that govern the survival of neurons and the growth of neuronal processes (axons and dendrites) during development. His team recently discovered that members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family of extracellular signalling proteins play important roles in regulating axon growth.

TNFα reverse signaling promotes sympathetic axon growth and target innervation

Professor Davies, who was recently elected a Fellow of the Royal Society plans to use the £2M award study how different TNF proteins orchestrate the establishment of patterns of neural connectivity during development and to unravel the molecular mechanisms underlying this. The results of this work will further our understanding of how the nervous system gets wired up and may shed light on what goes awry in certain neurodevelopmental disorders.

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