Michael Granato, Ph.D.

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Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
Department: Cell and Developmental Biology
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
421 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6058
Office: 215-898-2745
Fax: 215-898-9871
Diplom, University of Tübingen, Germany. Thesis with Dr. Heinke Schnabel: Molecular analysis of the organ specific gene pha-1 of C. elegans, 1989.
University of Tübingen, Germany and Max Planck Institute, Munich, Germany. Supervisors: Dr. Heinke Schnabel and Dr. Ralf Schnabel. Thesis: Positional cloning and functional characterization of the organ specific differentiation gene pha-1 in C. elegans, 1993.
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Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests
Axonal guidance, nerve regeneration and learning behaviors in zebrafish

Key words: zebrafish, axon, guidance, motoneuron, neural development, injury, nerve regeneration, learning, startle response, schizophrenia.

Description of Research
Using the zebrafish as an experimental model system, we study three areas of modern Neuroscience: axonal guidance, injury induced nerve de- and regeneration, and learning behaviors. The zebrafish offers a powerful combination of forward genetics and exquisite cellular analysis: previous and ongoing genetic screens in our lab have identified many mutations that affect specifically axonal guidance or motor behaviors. The transparent, externally developing embryos are accessible to numerous embryological manipulations, and a diverse repertoire of genomics tools, including GFP transgenics and selective gene inactivation allow for an unparalleled molecular and cellular analysis. Using these tools we focus on three research projects:

* the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which motor axons navigate to and form synaptic contacts with their synaptic muscle targets,

* the cellular and subcellular and events during and following injury induced peripheral nerve degeneration (Wallerian degeneration) and regeneration

* the cellular and molecular basis of simple learning behaviors .

Rotation Projects
Rotation projects are available in three research areas:

1. Motor axon guidance
2. Axonal degeneration/regeneration
3. Behavior and neural circuits

Please visit http://www.med.upenn.edu/granato/rotations.shtml for more details and contact me directly (granatom@mail.med.upenn.edu) if you are interested in these research areas and like to explore working with zebrafish.

Lab personnel:
Melissa Baxter, Research Specialist
Dr. Philip Campbell, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Beth Harvey, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Joy Meserve, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Jessica Nelson, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Kristian Saied Santiago, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Lauren Walker, postdoctoral fellow
Patti Murphy, Neurocience graduate student
Maria Navarro, Neuroscience graduate student
Elelbin Ortiz, Neuroscience graduate student
Hannah Shoenhard, Neuroscience graduate student

Selected Publications

Randlett Owen, Haesemeyer Martin, Forkin Greg, Shoenhard Hannah, Schier Alexander F, Engert Florian, Granato Michael: Distributed Plasticity Drives Visual Habituation Learning in Larval Zebrafish. Current biology : CB 29(8): 1337-1345.e4, Apr 2019.

Ducommun Priest Melissa, Navarro Maria F, Bremer Juliane, Granato Michael: Dynein promotes sustained axonal growth and Schwann cell remodeling early during peripheral nerve regeneration. PLoS genetics 15(2): e1007982, 02 2019.

Bremer Juliane, Marsden Kurt C, Miller Adam, Granato Michael: The ubiquitin ligase PHR promotes directional regrowth of spinal zebrafish axons. Communications biology 2: 195, 2019.

Harvey Beth M, Baxter Melissa, Granato Michael: Optic nerve regeneration in larval zebrafish exhibits spontaneous capacity for retinotopic but not tectum specific axon targeting. PloS one 14(6): e0218667, 2019.

Gribble Katherine D, Walker Lauren J, Saint-Amant Louis, Kuwada John Y, Granato Michael: The synaptic receptor Lrp4 promotes peripheral nerve regeneration. Nature communications 9(1): 2389, Jun 2018.

Marsden Kurt C, Jain Roshan A, Wolman Marc A, Echeverry Fabio A, Nelson Jessica C, Hayer Katharina E, Miltenberg Ben, Pereda Alberto E, Granato Michael: A Cyfip2-Dependent Excitatory Interneuron Pathway Establishes the Innate Startle Threshold. Cell reports 23(3): 878-887, Apr 2018.

Jain Roshan A, Wolman Marc A, Marsden Kurt C, Nelson Jessica C, Shoenhard Hannah, Echeverry Fabio A, Szi Christina, Bell Hannah, Skinner Julianne, Cobbs Emilia N, Sawada Keisuke, Zamora Amy D, Pereda Alberto E, Granato Michael: A Forward Genetic Screen in Zebrafish Identifies the G-Protein-Coupled Receptor CaSR as a Modulator of Sensorimotor Decision Making. Current biology : CB 28(9): 1357-1369.e5, Apr 2018.

Miller Adam C, Whitebirch Alex C, Shah Arish N, Marsden Kurt C, Granato Michael, O'Brien John, Moens Cecilia B: A genetic basis for molecular asymmetry at vertebrate electrical synapses. eLife 6, May 2017.

Bremer Juliane, Skinner Julianne, Granato Michael: A small molecule screen identifies in vivo modulators of peripheral nerve regeneration in zebrafish. PloS one 12(6): e0178854, 2017.

Bremer Juliane, Granato Michael: Myosin phosphatase Fine-tunes Zebrafish Motoneuron Position during Axonogenesis. PLoS genetics 12(11): e1006440, Nov 2016.

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Last updated: 03/05/2020
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