Central nervous systems range in complexity from the few hundred neurons of nematode worms and hydroid coelenterates to the 100000000000 or so neurons comprising the brain of the reader of this page.
How do these systems build themselves, and what are the molecules or mechanisms that might allow their repair after injury? How do the "simple" nervous systems of invertebrates repair themselves after injury, whereas lesions in mammalian brain have such debilitating consequences? What are the cellular mechanisms regulating survival or regeneration signaling in neurons?
All these questions fascinate us, but currently our main focus is on size and length sensing and growth control in healthy and injured neurons. The extreme lengths of axons poses unique challenges for neuronal cell biology. We seek to understand the molecular basis of the mechanisms used by neurons and other large cells to meet these challenges.