Michael Granato, Ph.D.

faculty photo
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.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

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
Jesse Isaacman-Beck, Neuroscience graduate student
Dr. Juliane Bremer, postdoctoral fellow
Melissa Ducommun, CAMB student
Katherine Gribble, Neuroscience graduate student
Dr. Kurt Marsden, postdoctoral fellow
Patti Murphy, Neurocience graduate student
Dr. Jessica Nelson, postdoctoral fellow
Dr. Owen Randlett, postdoctoral fellow
Hannah Shoenhard, Neuroscience graduate student

Selected Publications

Gyda, M. Wolman, M., Lorent, K. and Granato, M.: The tumor suppressor gene retinoblastoma-1 is required for retinotectal development and visual function in zebrafish. PLoS Genetics 2012.

Rosenberg Allison F, Wolman Marc A, Franzini-Armstrong Clara, Granato Michael: In vivo nerve-macrophage interactions following peripheral nerve injury. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience 32(11): 3898-909, Mar 2012.

Gordon Laura R, Gribble Katherine D, Syrett Camille M, Granato Michael: Initiation of synapse formation by Wnt-induced MuSK endocytosis. Development (Cambridge, England) 139(5): 1023-33, Mar 2012.

Burgess Harold A, Schoch Hannah, Granato Michael: Distinct retinal pathways drive spatial orientation behaviors in zebrafish navigation. Current biology : CB 20(4): 381-6, Feb 2010.

Jing Lili, Lefebvre Julie L, Gordon Laura R, Granato Michael: Wnt signals organize synaptic prepattern and axon guidance through the zebrafish unplugged/MuSK receptor. Neuron 61(5): 721-33, Mar 2009.

Burgess HA, Granato M. : Sensorimotor gating in larval zebrafish. J Neurosci. 27(18): 4984-94, May 2007 Notes: (cover photo).

Palaisa, K. A. , Granato, M.: The zebrafish sidetracked gene reveals a novel role for plexin-A3 during intraspinal motor axon guidance Development , Development 134: 3251-3257, August 2007.

Lefebvre JL, Jing L, Becaficco S, Franzini-Armstrong C, Granato M.: Differential requirement for MuSK and dystroglycan in generating patterns of neuromuscular innervation Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 104(7): 2483-8, February 2007.

Schneider VA, Granato M.: The myotomal diwanka (lh3) glycosyltransferase and type XVIII collagen are critical for motor growth cone migration. Neuron 50(5): 683-95, June 2006.

Zhang J, Lefebvre JL, Zhao S, Granato M: Zebrafish unplugged reveals a role for muscle-specific kinase homologs in axonal pathway choice. Nat Neurosci 7(12): 1303-9, Dec 2004 Notes: Cover Photo.

back to top
Last updated: 07/26/2019
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania