Kelly Monk, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
The myelin sheath surrounding axons is one of the most exquisite examples of a specialized cell-cell interaction in the vertebrate nervous system. Myelin is formed by glial cells called oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system. These cells associate with axons, and elaborate massive amounts of cytoplasm, ultimately wrapping axons to form the myelin sheath. While progress has been made to determine how glial cells make myelin, there is still much we do not understand.
How do glial cells transition from simple axonal ensheathment to membrane spiraling? What are the signals between glial cells and axons that regulate myelination? How is myelin maintained once it is formed? When myelin regenerates in disease or after injury, do the same developmental pathways that regulate myelination regulate remyelination? Or are there additional pathways necessary for this process, specific to adult tissue?
We use mouse and zebrafish models to better understand how myelinated axons are formed, maintained, and regenerated.
- Petersen SC and Monk KR (2015) Neurobiology: myelin goes where the action is. Curr Biol 25:R562-5.
- Harty BL, Krishnan A, Sanchez NE, Schiöth HB, Monk KR (2015). Defining the gene repertoire and spatiotemporal expression profiles of adhesion G protein-coupled receptors in zebrafish. BMC Genomics 16:62.
- Ackerman SD, Garcia C, Piao X, Gutmann DH, Monk KR (2015) The adhesion GPCR Gpr56 regulates oligodendrocyte development via interactions with G12/13 and RhoA. Nat Commun 6:6122.
- Petersen SC, Luo R, Liebscher I, Giera S, Jeong SJ, Mogha A, Ghidinelli M, Feltri ML, Schöneberg T, Piao X, Monk KR. The adhesion GPCR GPR126 has distinct, domain-dependent functions in Schwann cell development mediated by interaction with Laminin-211. Neuron 85:755-69.
- Mogha A, Benesh AE, Patra C, Engel FB, Schöneberg T, Liebscher I, Monk KR (2013) Gpr126 functions in Schwann cells to control differentiation and myelination via G-protein activation. J Neurosci 33:17976-85.
For a complete list of Dr. Monk's publications, click here
Education and Professional Experience
- Associate Professor, Department of Developmental Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, 2016.
- Assistant Professor, Department of Developmental Biology, Washington University School of Medicine, 2011.
- Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Developmental Biology, Stanford University School of Medicine, 2006-2010. Mentor: William Talbot.
- Ph.D., Department of Cell Biology Neurobiology and Anatomy, University of Cincinnati/Division of Experimental Hematology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, 2001-2006. Mentor: Nancy Ratner.
- B.S. in Biochemistry, Elmira College, Elmira, NY, 1997-2001.
Honors and Awards
- 2016 National Multiple Sclerosis Society Harry Weaver Neuroscience Scholar Award
- 2016 Washington University Distinguished Faculty Award
- 2015 American Society for Cell Biology Emerging Leader Prize Finalist
- 2015 Washington University Outstanding Faculty Mentor Award
- 2012 NIH Bridging Interdisciplinary Research Careers in Women’s Health (BIRCWH) Scholar Award
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- Faculty Members
- Lilianna (Lila) Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D.
- Irving Boime, Ph.D.
- Angela Bowman, Ph.D.
- Aaron DiAntonio, M.D., Ph.D.
- Douglas F. Covey, Ph.D.
- Gregory A. Grant, Ph.D.
- Shin-ichiro Imai, M.D., Ph.D.
- Eugene Johnson, Ph.D.
- S. Kerry Kornfeld, M.D., Ph.D
- Kristen Kroll, Ph.D.
- Craig Micchelli, Ph.D.
- Kelly Monk, Ph.D.
- Samantha A. Morris, Ph.D.
- Jeanne Nerbonne, Ph.D.
- David M. Ornitz, M.D., Ph.D.
- Zachary Pincus, Ph.D.
- Stacey Rentschler, M.D., Ph.D.
- John H. Russell, Ph.D.
- Andrew S. Yoo, Ph.D.
- Bo Zhang, Ph.D.
- Joint Faculty Members
- Adjunct Faculty
- Research Interests
- Former Faculty