Current Research
Neuron-glial Interactions in Health and Disease

Michelle Monje is investigating the growth and development of healthy and cancerous cells in the brain and exploring how brain activity sculpts brain structure and function. As part of this work, Monje and her team discovered that neuronal activity regulates the myelin-forming glial cells which insulate and protect neurons, fine-tuning circuit dynamics and influencing neurological function. They also discovered that neuronal activity similarly regulates glial malignancies, driving glioma progression through both paracrine factors and electrophysiologically functional neuron-to-glioma synapses. Currently, the team is working to further elucidate mechanisms regulating myelin plasticity, heterogeneity of adaptive myelin changes in different neuronal types and circuits, and the implications for “maladaptive” myelination in disease states.

Find a Scientist