Determining neuronal identity during development

  • Project Leader

    Dr Kylie Cane
    T: +61 3 8344 3979
    Location: E503, Level 2 (Street Level) North Wing, Medical Building 181

Project Details

In our laboratory, we study autonomic neurons to determine how they adopt their distinctive, mature forms. 

1. How do neurons and glial cells arise from a common pool of neural crest progenitors in a common environment? 
2. What is the relationship between when a neuron is born and the phenotype it later adopts? 
3. Does the developing sympathetic ganglion exhibit any topography in the distribution of stem cells and neuronal and glial precursors? 
4. How is the axon of a developing autonomic neuron directed to its target? 

Our approach is to use mice as models. This allows us to use a range of transgenic animals, with specific genes inactivated or with reporter genes indicating when specific genes are activated. In combination with modern culture and time lapse techniques, this gives us a powerful insight into development in a mammalian embryo. 

Any one of these questions would make a suitable topic for a PhD, Honours, AMS or 516307 project. Projects can also be tailored to match the specific interests or goals of a particular student. All projects will provide training in key techniques widely used in modern biological sciences, Including multiple-labelling immunofluorescence, organ culture and confocal microscopy and will provide the basis for a range of future career choices. Students should feel free to contact me to discuss possible projects in my laboratory, or to discuss Honours in general.


  • A/Prof Colin Anderson
  • Dr Kylie Cane

Research Opportunities

This research project is available to PhD students to join as part of their thesis.
Please contact the Research Group Leader to discuss your options.

Research Group

Faculty Research Themes


School Research Themes

Biomedical Neuroscience, Molecular Mechanisms of Disease

Key Contact

For further information about this research, please contact the research group leader.

Department / Centre

Anatomy and Neuroscience