FABIENNE POULAIN Assistant Professor, Department of Biology, University of South Carolina

Topic: Precise destruction: how axon degeneration shapes the development of neuronal circuits in vivo

Dr. Poulain is  originally from France and obtained her PhD from the University Paris 6-Pierre et Marie Curie,  studying  the roles of microtubule-regulating proteins stathmins in neuronal morphogenesis. She became convinced that observing axon growth directly in the embryo in vivo would provide invaluable insights on how axons integrate different signals from the environment to navigate properly. She  joined  the laboratories of Drs. Chi-Bin Chien and Joseph Yost at the University of Utah to study the roles of Heparan sulfate proteoglycans in axon guidance in vivo in zebrafish. Her work led to the development of new approaches to study  the role of selective axon degeneration in development and in the context of neurodegenerative disorders.