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Neurodevelopment - Cell lineage, Neuronal Migration, Axonal Targeting and Craniofacial development

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, Bethesda, MD and surrounding area

Position Description:

Projects focus on differentiation and migration of GnRH cells, olfactory ensheathing cells and olfactory axon outgrowth during development of the craniofacial region. Prenatally, GnRH neurons originate in the nasal region and migrate on olfactory axons into the brain. Current projects examine: 1) lineage of the GnRH cells, 2) intracellular signaling that controls cell movement and corresponding changes in cytoskeletal elements, 3) combinatorial influence of guidance factors involved in migration of these cells into the forebrain; mechanisms common to neuronal migration as well as mechanisms specific to the GnRH system and 4) development of the craniofacial region. Laboratory uses multidisciplinary approaches: cre/lox mice, transgenic lines, imaging, nasal explants, acute slices, videomicroscopy, calcium imaging, electrophysiology, immunocytochemistry, single-cell PCR, CRISPR and subtractive cDNA screening.


Candidate should have training in one of the following: Neurobiology, Development or Neuroendocrinology. Technical training in one of the following is required: confocal microscopy, cell culture, calcium imaging, CRISPR, manipulation of gene expression (siRNA, lentivirus, etc.) and/or in situ hybridization on mouse tissue.

To Apply:

Please e-mail a letter describing your interest and long-term goals, a curriculum vitae and three letters of reference to Dr. Susan Wray:, Cellular and Developmental Neurobiology, NINDS, NIH (

The NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.


Selected Recent Publications:

Dairaghi L, Flannery E, Giacobini P, Saglam A, Saadi H, Constantin S, Casoni F, Howell BW, Wray S. Reelin can modulate migration of olfactory ensheathing cells and gonadotropin releasing hormone neurons via the canonical pathway. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 2018.

Shan Y and Wray S. Development of GnRH Neurons, INF Masterclass in Neuroendocrinology Series: The GnRH Neuron and its Control, 2017.

Hutchins BI, Kotan LD, Taylor-Burds C, Ozkan Y, Cheng PJ, Gurbuz F, Tiong JDR, Mengen E, Yuksel B, Topaloglu AK, Wray S. CCDC141 Mutation identified in Anosmic Hypogonadotropic Hypogonadism (Kallmann Syndrome) alters GnRH neuronal migration. Endocrinology, 157: 1956-66, 2016.

Taylor-Burds C, Cheng P, Wray S. Chloride accumulators NKCC1 and AE2 in mouse GnRH neurons: Implications for GABAA mediated excitation. Plosone, 25;10(6): e0131076, 2015.

Hutchins BI, Wray S. Capture of microtubule plus-ends at the actin cortex promotes axophilic neuronal migration by enhancing microtubule tension in the leading process, Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, 8:400, 2014.

Kotan LD*, Hutchins BI*, Ozkan Y, Demirel F, Stoner H, Cheng PJ, Esen I, Gurbuz F, Y. Bicakci K, Mengen E, Yuksel B, Wray S, Topaloglu AK. Mutations in FEZF1 Cause Kallmann Syndrome. American Journal of Human Genetics, 4;95(3):326-   31, 2014.