Philippe P Monnier

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.
Trends Neurosci. 2001 Aug;24(8):437-9
Schwab JM, Leppert CA, Kaps KH, Monnier PP

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