David W Pruyne, PhD
- Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology
- Assistant Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Research Programs and Affiliations
- Biomedical Sciences Program
- Cancer Research Institute
- Cell and Developmental Biology
Education & Fellowships
- PhD: Cornell University, 1999, Biochemistry, Molecular and Cell Biology
- BS: Cornell University, 1993, Biochemistry
- Biochemistry and cell biology of formins as actin cytoskeleton organizers, using Caenorhabditis elegans as a model system.
- American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB)
Link to PubMed (Opens new window. Close the PubMed window to return to this page.)
The actin cytoskeleton is a network of filaments composed of the protein actin that populate the cell's cytoplasm. In a given cell, this network can be organized into a large number of distinct substructures that may range form from simple cable-like bundles through complex, repetitive arrays. These cytoskeletal structures give cells their proper shape, control the distribution of organelles, and allow cells to move. Our primary goal is to understand at the molecular level how distinct actin filament structures assemble, and how they perform their functions. Our focus is on the family of actin-organizing proteins called Formins. Formins are conserved proteins with homologs in nearly every type of eukaryotic organism, including animals, plants, and fungi. Among animals, seven distinct subclasses of Formins exist, but their precise functions are not clear. We are probing the functions of these Formin subclasses through a combination of biochemical assays using purified proteins, and genetic and microscopic studies using the model organism Caenorhabditis elegans. Our current work focuses on the relationship between one Formin subclass and muscle development.
Dr. Dennis Stelzner has been elected a Fellow in the American Association of Anatomists. He was presented with a citation and plaque at the annual meeting of the American Association of Anatomists during the FASEB meeting on April 12, 2011 in Washington, DC.
The citation reads:
Spinal cord injury (SCI) has been studied during his entire career using neuroanatomical and ultrastructural methods. He showed that the ability of nerve tracts to regenerate or grow around partial SCI during development is dependent on their maturation at the time of injury.
Differences were also found in the ability of frog optic and tectal efferent axons to regenerate through the same diencephalic injury. The intrinsic cellular response needed for CNS axons to regenerate is the focus of his present work on propriospinal neurons using "molecular neuroanatomy" to determine factors underlying a maximal regenerative response after spinal cord injury.