Malcolm Crawford Rose Hills
Morphological Changes in Dopamine Neurons Resulting From Tsc1 deletion
Dopamine is an important neuromodulator, and dysregulation of dopaminergic function is involved in many neurological disorders, from Parkinsons disease to addiction. The mTOR pathway, a ubiquitous signaling pathway which regulates cell growth and survival, plays an important role in dopamine neuron fate. By manipulating mTOR signaling in dopamine neurons via cell-type specific deletion of the Tsc1 gene, a negative regulator of the mTOR complex, I am examining how changes in cell morphology and protein expression levels are impacted by mTOR hyper-activation. This work can contribute to a better understanding of the mechanism governing several neurological diseases, including tuberous sclerosis complex and autism spectrum disorder.