Holger Knaut, PhD

Assistant Professor; Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Developmental Genetics. Department of Cell Biology

LAB WEBSITE:
Knaut Lab

RESEARCH THEMES:
Cell Biology, Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine

 

 

 

Contact Information

540 First Avenue
Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine
Floor 4, Lab 15
New York, NY 10016

Office Tel: (212) 263-7227
Lab Tel: (212) 263-3506
Fax: (212) 263-7760
Email: holger.knaut@med.nyu.edu

Admin Contact

Dolly Chan
Tel: (646) 501-0679
Email: dolly.chan@med.nyu.edu

 

Muscle and Neuron Migration

 

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Embryonic development involves extensive cell and tissue movements. Cells are often born far from their final position and face the challenge of navigating through the embryo to reach their destination and assemble into organs. To accomplish this task, they have to correctly interpret guidance cues and interact with various tissues along their migratory route.

Our goal is to understand how cells solve this task in two different scenarios:

  1. Using trigeminal sensory ganglion assembly as a model, we study how disperse cells migrate to join and form a functional unit. Trigeminal sensory neurons face such a challenge. They are born from two different cell populations that need to join and assemble into a correctly positioned ganglion. Understanding this process on a cellular and molecular level will contribute to our knowledge of how migrating cells of different types interact with each other and the tissues they encounter en route to assemble into an organ.
     
  2. Using muscle precursor migration as a second model, we study how very related cells migrate out and navigate to different targets in the embryo. Muscle precursor cells are confronted with such a challenge. They originate from the paraxial mesoderm and need to migrate to different positions in the head and appendages. Having reached their targets, they join with tendon precursors and attach to specific sites on the skeleton. Identifying the molecules and understanding the mechanisms that allow migrating muscle precursors to find and interact with their distinct targets will contribute to our understanding how complex structures are assembled.

Using muscle precursor migration as a second model, we study how very related cells migrate out and navigate to different targets in the embryo. Muscle precursor cells are confronted with such a challenge. They originate from the paraxial mesoderm and need to migrate to different positions in the head and appendages. Having reached their targets, they join with tendon precursors and attach to specific sites on the skeleton. Identifying the molecules and understanding the mechanisms that allow migrating muscle precursors to find and interact with their distinct targets will contribute to our understanding how complex structures are assembled.