Our laboratory studies the biological function of the GFL family of neurotrophic factors (GDNF, neurturin, persephin and artemin) that constitute the ligands for the Ret tyrosine kinase receptor, which is mutated in multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes as well as thyroid cancers. We are characterizing mouse models lacking components of this ligand-receptor family, and we are investigating the downstream signaling events mediated by Ret activation. We are also studying the role of several genes, including Egr1, Nab2, a homeodomain protein Nkx3.1 and the tumor suppressor PTEN, in the development and progression of prostate cancer. We are characterizing mouse models of prostate cancer that we have developed and are using microarray screens and other functional genomics techniques to identify additional gene products that play a role in this disease.

Kow Essuman wins 2019 O’Leary Prize

Kow Essuman, a graduate student in the Milbrandt Lab, is one of two winners of the 2019 O’Leary Prize. Yesterday Kow gave a short presentation of his research at the O’Leary Prize Competition on the Medical Campus, which was enough to convince the judges that he should win the prize. Anish Mitra, and MD/PhD candidate in the Raichle […]

Milbrandt and DiAntonio labs publish paper on gene therapy for peripheral nerve damage in mice

The Milbrandt and DiAntonio labs had a paper published recently on gene therapy that blocks peripheral damage in mice. The paper, “Gene therapy targeting SARM1 blocks pathological axon degeneration in mice,” appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine. Stefanie Geisler, M.D., an assistant professor of neurology at Washington University School of Medicine, is […]

Kow Essuman named a Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Medical Science Fellow

Kow Essuman, a graduate student in Dr. Jeff Milbrandt’s lab in The Department of Genetics at Washington University School of Medicine, was recently named a Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Medical Science Fellow. The Olin award recognizes outstanding achievement in biomedical research and is given annually to less than five percent of graduating DBBS […]

Milbrandt lab postdoc publishes paper on axon survival factors

Daniel W. Summers, Ph.D., a postdoc in Dr. Jeff Milbrandt’s lab, recently had a paper published in PNAS. The paper, “Palmitoylation enables MAPK-dependent proteostasis of axon survival factors,” shows that intracellular location imparts sensitivity to distinct protein homeostasis networks, and inactivating multiple nodes in this protein homeostasis network confers maximal therapeutic potential in diseases of axon […]