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Jones, Kevin R. Associate Professor

Positions

Research Areas research areas

Research

research overview

  • My laboratory studies the functions of neurotrophic factors in development and their relevance to neurodegenerative disease using a blend of transgenic mouse technology and anatomical, cell biological, and molecular techniques. We have used powerful conditional “gene knockout” techniques involving the cre/lox recombinase system to create mice that lack neurotrophic factors only in a specific tissue. This allows us to dissect functions in a specific tissue and/or at a specific developmental stage. We have focused primarily on the neurotrophin BDNF, and have shown that it is important in stabilizing the dendritic structure of neurons. Interestingly, this may relate to a requirement for BDNF in the formation or stabilization of many synapses. We have also identified compelling parallels between BDNF deprivation and Parkinson’s and Huntington’s diseases and are using our BDNF mutant mice to identify useful compounds and targets in treating these and other neural disorders.

keywords

  • Creation of transgenic mouse models relevant to neural development and neurodegenerative disease, Investigation of related molecular mechanisms using techniques of molecular biology, cell biology, and biochemistry, High throughput screening for drugs using cultured cells, primary cultured neurons

Publications

selected publications

Teaching

courses taught

  • MCDB 4427 - Biology of the Visual System
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Explores the neurobiology, cell biology, genetics and developmental biology of the visual system. Discusses neurodegenerative and vascular diseases that lead to blindness. Students read and analyze original research articles to train scientific reasoning. Involves student-organized presentations and classroom discussion. Fulfills MCDB scientific reasoning requirement. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 3135 and MCDB 3145 (minimum grade C-) or instructor consent required. Same as MCDB 5427.
  • MCDB 4777 - Molecular Neurobiology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces the functional anatomy of the nervous system and explores current knowledge regarding the molecular and genetic basis of the development and function of the nervous system. Studies recent insights into the molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases, in the last portion of the course. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 3135 and MCDB 3145 (minimum grade C-). Same as MCDB 5777.
  • MCDB 4990 - Honors Thesis
    Primary Instructor - Fall 2019
    Involves the preparation and defense of an honors thesis, based on faculty-supervised original research, including final phases of the research project. Recommended prerequisites: MCDB 4840 or MCDB 4980 or comparable research experience, and minimum GPA of 3.3 and approval by the MCDB Honors Committee.
  • MCDB 5427 - Biology of the Visual System
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018
    Explores the neurobiology, cell biology, genetics and developmental biology of the visual system. Discusses neurodegenerative and vascular diseases that lead to blindness. Students read and analyze original research articles to train scientific reasoning. Involves student-organized presentations and classroom discussion. Same as MCDB 4427.
  • MCDB 5777 - Molecular Neurobiology
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2019
    Introduces the functional anatomy of the nervous system and explores current knowledge regarding the molecular and genetic basis of the development and function of the nervous system. Studies recent insights into the molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases, in the last portion of the course. Same as MCDB 4777.
  • MCDB 6000 - Introduction to Laboratory Methods
    Primary Instructor - Spring 2018 / Spring 2019
    Introduces methodology and techniques used in biological research. Designed as a tutorial between a few students and one faculty member. Students are expected to read original research papers, discuss findings, and to plan and execute experiments in selected areas. Open only to MCDB graduate students. May be repeated up to 9 total credit hours.

Background

International Activities

global connections related to teaching and scholarly work (in recent years)

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