Lydia Daboussi, Ph.D.
UCLA Department of Neurobiology
650 Charles Young Drive South, Rm 63-170 CHS
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1763
The peripheral nervous system possesses an astonishing capability for self-repair, however it can eventually become overwhelmed by injury or disease resulting in impaired motor and sensory function. The compilation of genetic disorders, metabolic diseases, environmental stressors, and injury that lead to sensorimotor dysfunction, termed peripheral neuropathies, make this class of disease a common neurological disorder. Historically, nervous system injuries and diseases are studied from a ‘neuron-centric’ perspective, however peripheral nerve regeneration also depends on axon-to-glia signaling to induce Schwann cells plasticity. Schwann cells respond to axonal damage by transiently transdifferentiating into specialized ‘repair cells’ that facilitate axonal regrowth and reinnervation of axonal targets, promoting a return to normal sensorimotor function. Research in my lab lies at the intersection of the fields of glial biology, axonal regeneration and cytoplasmic-to-nuclear signaling. We are focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of nervous system plasticity to gain insight into regeneration after injury and during chronic disease. The long-term goal of the lab is to harness how Schwann cells maintain and induce their regenerative capacity to inform future therapeutics.