Milbrandt Lab graduate student defends thesis on enzymatic function of TIR domain

Kow Essuman, a graduate student in the Milbrandt Lab, recently defended his thesis recently at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Kow’s talk, “The Enzymatic Function of the TIR domain: From Axon Degeneration to Innate Immunity,” took place on April 26 at 1:30 PM at Connor Auditorium and was followed by a reception […]

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 […]

Milbrandt lab researcher takes new position at Novartis

Bryan McGill, an Instructor of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine and a member of the Milbrandt lab, has taken a new position at Novartis. “It was a really difficult decision to leave Washington University. The deciding factor for me was the opportunity to work full-time on clinical research full-time investigating treatments for pediatric […]

Milbrandt lab publishes paper on Schwann cell O-GlcNAcylation

The Milbrandt lab published a paper recently on Schwann cell O-GlcNAcylation. The paper, “Schwann cell O-GlcNAcylation promotes peripheral nerve remyelination via attenuation of the AP-1 transcription factor JUN,” appears in PNAS. Sungsu Kim, an instructor in the Department of Genetics and a member of the Milbrandt lab, is first author on the paper. Read the abstract […]

Milbrandt lab welcomes rotation student researching SARM1 activation

The Milbrandt lab recently welcomed Caitlin Dingwall for a rotation project.  Caitlin received a B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology with Honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2015. For her Honors thesis, she worked in the lab of Dr. Phillip Newmark where she pursued dual projects investigating the role of matrix metalloproteinases […]

Milbrandt lab publishes paper on NAD+ metabolism and Schwann cell dedifferentiation

Yo Sasaki, Ph.D., Research Associate Professor in the Department of Genetics and a member of Dr. Jeff Milbrandt’s lab, and Amber Hackett, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow in the Milbrandt lab, recently published a paper. The paper, “Dysregulation of NAD+ metabolism induces a Schwann cell dedifferentiation program,” appears in the Journal of Neuroscience. Read more about […]

Amber Hackett awarded W.M. Keck Fellowship

Amber Hackett, a postdoctoral researcher in Dr. Jeff Milbrandt’s lab, was awarded the W.M. Keck Fellowship for her postdoctoral training. Congratulations, Amber!

Milbrandt lab postdoc publishes paper on single cell RNAseq and morphine treatment

Denis Avey, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in the Milbrandt and Mitra labs, is first author on a newly-uploaded preprint article. The paper, “Single cell RNAseq uncovers a robust transcriptional response to morphine by oligodendrocytes” can be accessed via bioRxiv. Sumithra Sankararaman, a research scientist in the Mitra lab, Aldrin K. Y. Yim, a graduate student […]

Kow Essuman and colleagues publish paper in Current Biology

The Milbrandt lab had a paper published recently in Current Biology. The paper, “TIR Domain Proteins Are an Ancient Family of NAD+-Consuming Enzymes,” shows that TIR domain proteins from both bacteria and archaea cleave NAD+ into nicotinamide and ADP-ribose (ADPR), with catalytic cleavage executed by a conserved glutamic acid. Kow Essuman, an M.D./Ph.D. student in the Milbrandt […]

Kow Essuman wins FEBS Journal Poster Prize

Kow Essuman was awarded the FEBS Journal Poster Prize for an outstanding poster at the FASEB Conference on NAD+ Metabolism and Signaling. The conference was held July 9-14, 2017, in New Orleans. Congratulations, Kow!    

Peter Wang passes qualifying exam

Peter Wang passed his qualifying exam on June 13, marking a major checkpoint in his graduate studies. Congratulations, Peter!

Jeff Milbrandt has paper published in PNAS

Jeff Milbrandt recently had a paper published in PNAS, titled: “mTORC1 promotes proliferation of immature Schwann cells and myelin growth of differentiated Schwann cells.” Dr. Bogdan Beirowski, principal investigator at the Hunter James Kelly Research Institute at the State University of New York, is lead author on the paper. Keit Men Wong, a Ph.D. student at the […]

Amber Hackett joins Milbrandt Lab

Amber Hackett recently joined the lab as a postdoctoral fellow. Previously, Amber received her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Miami. Her thesis project focused on glial scar formation and remyelination after spinal cord injury. Amber joined the Milbrandt lab in 2016.

Kow Essuman has paper published in Neuron

Kow Essuman is the lead author of a paper recently published in Neuron, titled: “The SARM1 Toll/Interleukin-1 Receptor Domain Possesses Intrinsic NAD+ Cleavage Activity that Promotes Pathological Axonal Degeneration.” Daniel Summers, Yo Sasaki, Xianrong Mao, Dr. Jeff Milbrandt and Dr. Aaron DiAntonio are also authors of the paper. Read the study abstract here.

Kow Essuman admitted to MD/PhD program at Washington University

Kow Essuman was admitted to the Medical Science Training Program (MSTP), a combined MD/PhD program at Washington University in St. Louis. Kow began his studies in the MD program at Washington University in 2012, and gained admission to the MSTP program in February 2017. He is currently defining molecular pathways that underlie the axon self-destruction program in […]

Yo Sasaki publishes his paper entitled “Characterization of Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis-associated NMNAT1 Mutants” in JCB. Congratulations!

Sasaki Y, Margolin Z, Borgo B, Havranek JJ, Milbrandt J.  Characterization of Leber’s Congenital Amaurosis-associated NMNAT1 Mutants.  J Biol Chem. 2015 May 27. pii: jbc.M115.637850. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 26018082 In this paper, we used a series of assays to identify Nmnat1 functional deficits caused by mutations in this NAD biosynthetic enzyme that result […]

Dan Summers publishes his paper on Sarm1-dependent neuronal death and mitochondrial dysfunction in J Neuroscience

Congratulations Dan! This work demonstrates that neuronal death by mitochondrial inhibition is dependent on the TLR adaptor protein Sarm1. Inhibitors of canonical programmed cell death pathways such as apoptosis, necroptosis, and parthanatos do not block neuronal death and axonal degeneration triggered by mitochondrial depolarization. These studies highlight the central role for Sarm1 in a novel […]

Axonal degeneration

Axonal degeneration and glial/axonal interactions in disease Our lab studies the interactions between glia and axons that are required for proper nerve function. Axonal dysfunction and degeneration are early and causative events in nervous system disorders ranging from traumatic injury to inherited and acquired peripheral neuropathies to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and Multiple Sclerosis. […]

Deciphering the molecular mechanism of axonal degeneration

We are studying the pathways promoting axon degeneration with the hopes of identifying new therapeutic targets for neuropathy and neurodegeneration. Using robotics and automated imaging systems, we have developed a high-throughput screening platform using primary sensory neuron cultures to find 1) small molecule inhibitors of axon degeneration, and 2) genes required for axon degeneration.