Martha Bhattacharya, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Rm 612 Gould-Simpson

Research Interests:

My work investigates the molecular mechanisms of axon degeneration, a molecular program triggered by toxic, metabolic, or traumatic stress to the axonal compartment of neurons. I use both fruit fly and mouse tools to ask questions about genes involved in axon degeneration and to place these genes in the context of pathways required for axon and synapse maintenance in the face of insults. I have discovered a number of axon degeneration mediators, including MORN4 and TMEM184b as well as others, and am currently following up on their roles within neurons during normal neuronal functioning and in the context of neurodegenerative disorders such as ALS and Alzheimer’s Disease.

1. Cho* TS, Beigate* E, Klein* NE, Sweeney ST, Bhattacharya MRC. The Drosophila TMEM184b ortholog Tmep ensures proper locomotion by restraining ectopic firing at the neuromuscular junction. BioRxiv. 2021. DOI: 10.1101/2021.09.11.459917.
2. Larsen EG, Cho TS, McBride ML, Feng J, Manivannan B, Madura C, Klein NE, Wright EB, Wickstead ES, Garcia-Verdugo HD, Jarvis C, Khanna R, Hu H, Largent-Milnes TM, Bhattacharya MRC. TMEM184B is necessary for IL-31-induced itch. PAIN (in press). DOI: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002452.
3. Bhattacharya MRC. A chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy model in Drosophila melanogaster. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2020;2143:301–310.
4. Bhattacharya MRC, Geisler S, Pittman SK, Doan RA, Weihl CC, Milbrandt J, DiAntonio A. TMEM184b promotes axon degeneration and neuromuscular junction maintenance. Journal of Neuroscience. 2016;36(17):4681–4689.
5. Bhattacharya MRC, Gerdts J, Naylor SA, Royse EX, Ebstein SY, Sasaki Y, Milbrandt J, Diantonio A. A model of toxic neuropathy in Drosophila reveals a role for MORN4 in promoting axonal degeneration. Journal of Neuroscience. 2012;32(15).
6. Bhattacharya MRC, Bautista DM, Wu K, Haeberle H, Lumpkin EA, Julius D. Radial stretch reveals distinct populations of mechanosensitive mammalian somatosensory neurons. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2008;105(50):20015–20020.
7. Li R, Chase M, Jung SK, Smith PJS, Loeken MR. Hypoxic stress in diabetic pregnancy contributes to impaired embryo gene expression and defective development by inducing oxidative stress. American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2005;289(4 52-4).