Department of Developmental Neurobiology

Chair: Michael Dyer, PhD


Departmental Focus

Scientists in the Department of Developmental Neurobiology investigate the fundamental processes that govern normal brain development and function. We believe that this information will provide unique opportunities for understanding and treating a range of diseases afflicting the nervous system including tumors, defects in hearing and vision as well as neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders. Our goal to enhance novel clinical therapies is facilitated by fostering an interactive environment where researchers investigating fundamental aspects of nervous system development and function are juxtaposed to those engaged in clinical and translational research. Indeed, faculty in the department hold key leadership positions in two of the institutional Comprehensive Cancer Center Programs: the Neurobiology and Brain Tumor Program and the Developmental Biology and Solid Tumor Program; each recognized for its basic, translational and clinical research into tumors afflicting children. To further strengthen translational interactions the department hosts two divisions, Brain Tumor Research and Developmental Biology whose research efforts are aligned with the goals of the two CCC Programs.

Current research includes studies of early cell fate decisions and control of brain growth, neuronal migration and synapse formation, analysis of the mechanisms responsible for synaptic plasticity, investigations of the control of cell death and regeneration, examination of mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases, identification of genes involved in the formation and function of the inner ear and retina, and elucidation of the molecular mechanisms underlying a range of tumors, including medulloblastoma, neuroblastoma, retinoblastoma, ependymoma and glioma. These investigations are further leveraged by our use of multiple experimental platforms that range from comprehensive genomics and proteomics to advanced cellular and in vivo imaging and computational biology to derivation of novel genetic preclinical models of childhood diseases.

Our Vision for Expansion

Contact Us

Department of Developmental Neurobiology
MS 323, Room D2025
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
262 Danny Thomas Place
Memphis, TN 38105-3678 USA

Phone: (901) 595-6195
Fax: (901) 595-3066

Preferred contact method: email