Deborah M. Kurrasch

Professor

Department of Medical Genetics

Professor

Department of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology

Deputy Department Head

Department of Medical Genetics

Deputy Director

Department of Neuroscience

Director, International Program

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

Member

Alberta Children's Hospital Research Institute

Member

Hotchkiss Brain Institute

B.Sc. (Bachelor of Science) Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy)


Contact information

Location


Research and teaching

Research Activities

The Kurrasch Lab studies how hypothalamic neurons become organized into distinct neuronal clusters (“nuclei”). The human brain is exquisitely organized into either distinct layers or defined nuclei. Although layer formation has been well studied, comparatively little is known about the cellular and molecular mechanisms that guide the movement of neurons into nuclei. We use our unique collection of molecular markers and genetic tools to study how neurons that reside in one nucleus of the hypothalamus – the ventromedial nucleus (VMH) – are born and move to their final position. Presumably, similar mechanisms are used throughout the brain to organize neurons into clusters and thus, we predict that our findings in the VMH will be applicable to other brain regions. The long-term goal of the Kurrasch Lab is to explore whether environmental insults interfere with the developmental steps guiding hypothalamic nuclei formation, as an entry-point towards understanding the etiology of neuroendocrine disorders that are becoming increasingly common within the general population.

To address these questions, we conduct loss-of-function (i.e., morpholino knockdown and Cretechnology) and gain-of-function experiments (i.e., in utero electroporation) using both mice and zebrafish as model systems.

Research Personnel: 

  • Dr. Deepika Dogra, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Cristie Noschang, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Arthur Omorogiuwa, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Paola Santoscoy, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Dinu Nesan, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Jessica Rossin, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Jing Zheng, Postodoctoral Fellow
  • Dr. Kingsley Ibhazahiebo, Sr. Research Associate
  • Alicia Vandenbrink, Laboratory Coordinator
  • Natasha Klenin, Research Specialist
  • Harmony Fong, MSc Student
  • Faizan Malik, MSc Student
  • Emily Hanniman, Undergraduate researcher
  • Kristy Gough, Administrative Assistant

Publications

PubMed