Wesley J. Thompson
Formation and Maintenance of Synaptic Connections
I am interested in the formation and maintenance of synaptic connections in the developing nervous system. In particular, I am investigating the remodelling of neuromuscular synapses which occurs in mammalian muscles during late fetal and early postnatal stages. I wish to understand how the different kinds of motor neurons and muscle fibers achieve their final differentiation and how the motor neurons come to selectively innervate the appropriate muscle fibers. In the course of this work my lab has generated antibodies which recognize a novel component of the neuromuscular junction. An additional objective is to determine the identity of this component and its role in the differentiation of this synapse.