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Funded Studies

Antonio Colavita, PhD

Dr. Colavita is a scientist in the Ottawa Health Research Institute's (OHRI) Neuroscience Program and an assistant professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at the University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Ontario). His laboratory pursues two main research programs: 1) the identification of genes involved in regulating the development and survival of dopaminergic neurons in C. elegans and 2) the identification of new genes and mechanisms involved in axon branching and outgrowth in C. elegans. Dr. Colavita obtained his doctorate in Molecular Genetics from the University of Toronto. His PhD work in the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Culotti involved studying the conserved UNC-6/Netrin axon guidance pathway in C. elegans. This work identified, for the first time, the role of a TGF-beta signaling molecule (UNC-129) in axon guidance (published in Science, Developmental Biology, and Genes and Development). This work was supported by numerous University of Toronto graduate student scholarships. Subsequently, he joined the laboratory of Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne (Stanford University) as a postdoctoral fellow where he pursued my interest in understanding axon branching mechanisms using C. elegans as a model system. These studies identified a neurexin-like protein (BAM-2) as a novel axon branch termination cue (published in Science). This postdoctoral work was supported by a fellowship from the Jane Coffin Memorial Fund for Cancer Research.
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