OHSU

Mandel Lab

Senior Scientist and Principal Investigator: Gail Mandel

Research in my lab is focused on understanding how neuronal cell identity is established and maintained. Unexpectedly, we discovered that this is achieved primarily through a repressor mechanism. At the heart of this mechanism lies the DNA-binding protein, REST. Together with its interaction partners, REST controls the epigenetic status of neuronal gene chromatin. Knowledge of this mechanism provides a window into the molecular events governing nervous system formation. We are exploiting embryonic stem cell differentiation and knock out animals to understand how the repressor complex is regulated during normal development. Using a novel strategy for characterizing transcription factor binding sites, we have elucidated the REST genetic network and are studying how this network, and its associated chromatin signature, directs normal neuronal differentiation and contributes to autism spectrum disorders. Most recently, we have extended our studies to explore neuronal:glial interactions. We have uncovered a potential role for glia in inducing neuronal dysfunction in Rett Syndrome, one of the most common causes of mental retardation in young girls. Our goal is to identify how the glial genes or proteins cause the underlying neuronal pathology.

 

CURRENT LAB MEMBERS

 

MANDEL LAB 2011

Mandel Lab Members 2011

Back wall (L–R): Daniel Lioy & Blue, Glen Corson, James McGann, Francesca Cargnin, Edmund Nesti, Nathan Nelson, Saurabh Garg, Travis Polston, Aliyih Bristol. Front railing (L–R): Karin Mullendorff, Jon Oyer, Jenny Miller, Caitlin Monaghan, Tamilla Nechiporuk, Huilan Yao, Gail Mandel.

Lab Phone Number:
503-494-8690

Contact Information

Aliyih Bristol
Administrative Assistant
Howard Hughes Medical Institute
E-mail: bristol@ohsu.edu

Phone: 503-494-6740
Fax: 503-418-1624

Mailing Address

Oregon Health & Science University
Vollum Institute, L-474
3181 S.W. Sam Jackson Pk. Rd.
Portland, Oregon 97239