Kelly Monk, Ph.D.
Department of Developmental Biology
The myelin sheath surrounding axons is an exquisite specialized membrane found 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. The importance of myelin is underscored by diseases that compromise the integrity of myelinated axons, including Multiple Sclerosis and Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Despite its importance, however, relatively little is known about how the myelin sheath is formed and maintained.
We are interested in the mechanisms that govern the development, maintenance, and regeneration of myelinated axons. Zebrafish embryos are ideally suited for genetic screens, drug screens, microinjection, and in vivo imaging. Our studies will make use of these attributes to uncover regulators of nervous system development, homeostasis, and repair. One specific focus of our studies will be to better understand the role that an orphan G protein-coupled receptor, Gpr126, plays in Schwann cell development. Starting with a genetic screen in zebrafish in Will Talbot’s lab at Stanford University, we previously showed that Gpr126 is required for Schwann cell myelination in zebrafish. In the Monk lab, we will seek to better understand the mechanisms by which Gpr126 controls nervous system development using zebrafish and mouse mutants. We will also seek to define novel genetic pathways and molecules critical for nervous system function. To this end, we will perform non-biased screens (genetic and chemical) in zebrafish, and follow up interesting candidates using genetic and molecular approaches in both zebrafish and mouse.
- Monk KR, Oshima K, Jörs S, Heller S, Talbot WS. Gpr126 is essential for peripheral nerve development and myelination in mammals. Development. 2011 Jul;138(13):2673-80. Epub 2011 May 25.
- Monk KR, Naylor SG, Glenn TD, Mercurio S, Perlin JR, Dominguez C, Moens CB, Talbot WS. A G protein-coupled receptor is essential for Schwann cells to initiate myelination. (2009) Science. 325: 1402-5.
- Monk KR and Talbot WS. Genetic dissection of myelinated axons in zebrafish. (2009) Curr Opin Neurobiol, 19: 486-90.
- Monk KR, Wu J, Williams JP, Meinhardt BA, Fitzgerald ME, Filippi MD, Ratner N. Mast cells can contribute to axon-glial dissociation and fibrosis in peripheral nerve. (2007) Neuron Glia Biol. 3, 233-44.
- Wu J, Crimmins J, Monk KR, Williams JP, Fitzgerald ME, Tedesco S, Ratner, N. Brief EGFR blockade prevents peripheral nerve dysfunction in a mouse model of peripheral nerve tumorigenesis. (2006) Am J Pathol. 168, 1686-96.
- Ling BC, Wu J, Miller SJ, Monk KR, Rizvi TA, Shamekh R, Vogel KS, DeClue JE, Ratner, N. Role of the epidermal growth factor receptor in neurofibromatosis-related peripheral nerve tumorigenisis. (2005) Cancer Cell. 7, 65-75
For a complete list of Dr. Monk's publications, click here
Education and Professional Experience
- 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
- National Multiple Sclerosis Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2009.
- Stanford University Henzl-Gabor Award, 2008.
- Stanford University Dean’s Fellowship, 2006.
- Cardell Foundation Award, 2004.• Albert J. Ryan Foundation Fellowship, 2003-2005.
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- Faculty Members
- Lilianna (Lila) Solnica-Krezel, Ph.D.
- Irving Boime, 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.
- 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.
- Joint Faculty Members
- Adjunct Faculty
- Research Interests
- Model Systems