Philippe P Monnier, MSc, MBA, PhD

Our main interests are the mechanisms that govern axonal outgrowth and cell migration in the central nervous system during development.

a) We have several projects aimed at the identification of membrane components that guide neurons to their target cells. Our main focus is the characterization of matrix  and membrane proteins involved in retina ganglion cell axon outgrowth. These studies use culture of retina explants, as well as other strategies in which protein expression is manipulated in the eye (using electroporation).

b) We developed several in vitro models (explant culture, organotypic cultures) to analyze the role of membrane and extracellular matrix proteins on cell migration in the central nervous system (CNS). We are concentrating our efforts on understanding the role of the newly identified membrane protein RGM on progenitor cell migration in the forebrain and the retina.

c) We recently purified the new matrix protein T61. In vitro experiments using blocking antibodies demonstrate that T61 is part of the substrate that allows axonal growth in the retina. Our goal is to use the purified protein to get peptide data and clone the full length protein. Using recombinant T61 we will confirm its biological function as part of the environment that allows axonal growth.
J Neurosci. 2011 Jul 20;31(29):10494-505
Monnier PP, D'Onofrio PM, Magharious M, Hollander AC, Tassew N, Szydlowska K, Tymianski M, Koeberle PD
Neuroscience. 2010 Aug 11;169(1):495-504
Koeberle PD, Tura A, Tassew NG, Schlichter LC, Monnier PP
Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci. 2009 Jan;50(1):452-61
Tura A, Schuettauf F, Monnier PP, Bartz-Schmidt KU, Henke-Fahle S
Mol Cell Neurosci. 2008 Apr;37(4):761-9
Tassew NG, Chestopolava L, Beecroft R, Matsunaga E, Teng H, Chedotal A, Monnier PP
Mol Biol Cell. 2008 Feb;19(2):722-34
Arunachalam L, Han L, Tassew NG, He Y, Wang L, Xie L, Fujita Y, Kwan E, Davletov B, Monnier PP, Gaisano HY, Sugita S
J Neurosci Res. 2008 Feb 15;86(3):531-6
Julien S, Schnichels S, Teng H, Tassew N, Henke-Fahle S, Mueller BK, Monnier PP
Arch Neurol. 2005 Oct;62(10):1561-8
Schwab JM, Monnier PP, Schluesener HJ, Conrad S, Beschorner R, Chen L, Meyermann R, Mueller BK
Eur J Neurosci. 2005 Mar;21(6):1569-76
Schwab JM, Conrad S, Monnier PP, Julien S, Mueller BK, Schluesener HJ
Nat Cell Biol. 2004 Aug;6(8):749-55
Matsunaga E, Tauszig-Delamasure S, Monnier PP, Mueller BK, Strittmatter SM, Mehlen P, Chédotal A

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Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, University of Toronto
Associate Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Toronto