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
1. What are the molecular programs that enable axonal regeneration in the PNS and the CNS, molecularly how different are from each other and from well-studied signaling pathways that regulate axonal wiring during development?

2. What are the molecular and circuit level mechanisms underlying autism and schizophrenia relevant behaviors such as decision making, learning and social interactions?

Rotation Projects
For more info or just to chat about opportunities, ongoing rotation projects, or the lab's vision to maintain a fun and creative lab, contact Michael at granatom@pennmedicine.upenn.edu

Lab personnel:
Melissa Baxter, Research Specialist
Dr. Philip Campbell, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Beth Harvey, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Alexandria Hulegaard, postdoctoral researcher
Dr. Joy Meserve, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Kristian Saied Santiago, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Lauren Walker, postdoctoral fellow
Jaffna Mathiaparanam, Neurocience graduate student
Maria Navarro, Neuroscience graduate student
Elelbin Ortiz, Neuroscience graduate student

Selected Publications

Walker LJ, Guevara C, Kawakami K, Granato M.: Target-selective vertebrate motor axon regeneration depends on interaction with glial cells at a peripheral nerve plexus. PLoS Biol 21: e3002223, Aug 2023.

Nelson JC, Shoenhard H, Granato M.: Integration of cooperative and opposing molecular programs drives learning-associated behavioral plasticity. PLoS Genet 19: e1010650, Mar 2023.

Harvey BM, Baxter M, Granato M.: Assaying Optic Nerve Regeneration in Larval Zebrafish. Methods Mol Biol 2023.

Shoenhard H, Granato M.: Multivariate analysis of variegated expression in Neurons: A strategy for unbiased localization of gene function to candidate brain regions in larval zebrafish. PLoS One 18: e0281609, Feb 2023.

Walker LJ, Guevara C, Kawakami K, Granato M.: A glia cell dependent mechanism at a peripheral nerve plexus critical for target-selective axon regeneration. bioRxiv Jan 2023.

Campbell PD, Lee I, Thyme S, Granato M.: Mitochondrial genes in the 22q11.2 deleted region regulate neural stem and progenitor cell proliferation. bioRxiv Jan 2023.

Shoenhard H, Jain RA, Granato M.: The calcium-sensing receptor (CaSR) regulates zebrafish sensorimotor decision making via a genetically defined cluster of hindbrain neurons. Cell Rep 41: 111790, Dec 2022.

Santistevan NJ, Nelson JC, Ortiz EA, Miller AH, Kenj Halabi D, Sippl ZA, Granato M, Grinblat Y.: cacna2d3, a voltage-gated calcium channel subunit, functions in vertebrate habituation learning and the startle sensitivity threshold. PLoS One 17: e0270903, Jul 2022.

Nelson JC, Granato M.: Zebrafish behavior as a gateway to nervous system assembly and plasticity. Development 149: dev177998, May 2022.

Meserve JH, Nelson JC, Marsden KC, Hsu J, Echeverry FA, Jain RA, Wolman MA, Pereda AE, Granato M.: A forward genetic screen identifies Dolk as a regulator of startle magnitude through the potassium channel subunit Kv1.1. PLoS Genet 17: e1008943, Jun 2021.

Madden ME, Suminaite D, Ortiz E, Early JJ, Koudelka S, Livesey MR, Bianco IH, Granato M, Lyons DA.: CNS Hypomyelination Disrupts Axonal Conduction and Behavior in Larval Zebrafish. J Neurosci 41: 9099-9111, Nov 2021.

Walker LJ, Roque RA, Navarro MF, Granato M.: Agrin/Lrp4 signal constrains MuSK-dependent neuromuscular synapse development in appendicular muscle. Development 148: dev199790, Nov 2021.

Murphy PL, Isaacman-Beck J, Granato M.: Robo2 Drives Target-Selective Peripheral Nerve Regeneration in Response to Glia-Derived Signals. J Neurosci 42: 762-776, Feb 2022.

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Last updated: 08/23/2023
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