Ashtyn Smith, BS, Neuroscience, Westminster College, Salt Lake City
Rapid and efficient neurotransmission is essential for organism survival and is enhanced by myelination. However, the mechanisms that drive the development of myelin and myelin-producing cells in the vertebrate nervous system are not well understood. From RNA sequencing data generated by our lab, I have identified a gene called cd59 that is highly expressed in myelinating glial cells, such as oligodendrocytes and Schwann cells. Using zebrafish, I am characterizing the role of Cd59 in myelinating glial cell development and function and identify the downstream effectors of Cd59 in myelin.