My lab is broadly interested in neural circuit development and how disease or injury affects circuit structure and function. Changes in auditory circuits often underlie hearing disorders, which are among the most common human sensory defects. In addition to its clinical relevance, the auditory system has developed highly specialized cell types and synapses in precise tonotopic circuits to transmit sound information quickly and accurately, making it an ideal system to study neural circuit development. Moreover, auditory sensitivity and perception can be assessed by well-established physiological tests, allowing us to correlate cellular or molecular perturbations to behavioral changes. My lab will use mouse genetics, genomics, imaging and physiological approaches to study how auditory circuits assemble, with an emphasis on identifying the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie the development of structurally and functionally unique auditory synapses.
Shepard AR, Scheffel JL, Yu WM. Relationships between neuronal birthdates and tonotopic positions in the mouse cochlear nucleus. J Comp Neurol., doi: 10.1002/cne.24575, 2018.
Conrad E, Dai C, Spaeth J, Guo M, Cyphert H, Scoville D, Carroll J, Yu WM, Goodrich LV, Harlan DM, Grove KL, Roberts CT Jr., Powers AC, Gu G, Stein R. The MAFB transcription factor impacts islet α-cell function in rodents and represents a unique signature of primate islet β-cells. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab., 310:E91-E102, 2016
Yu WM, Goodrich LV. Morphological and physiological development of auditory synapses. Hearing Research (Annual Reviews 2014), 311:3-16, 2014 (cover article).
Yu WM, Appler JM*, Kim YH*, Nishitani AM, Holt JR, Goodrich LV. A Gata3-Mafb transcriptional network directs post-synaptic differentiation in synapses specialized for hearing. eLife, 2: e01341 2013 (*Appler and Kim contributed equally) (Research Highlight in Nature Review Neuroscience, 15, doi: 10.1038/nrn3674, 2014).
del Rio T, Nishitani AM, Yu WM, Goodrich LV. In vivo analysis of Lrig genes reveals redundant and independent functions in the inner ear. PLoS Genetics, 9: e1003824, 2013.
Appler JM*, Lu CC*, Druckenbrod NR, Yu WM, Koundakjian EJ, Goodrich LV. Gata3 is a critical regulator of cochlear wiring. J. Neuroscience, 33: 3679-91, 2013 (*contributed equally).
Yu WM, Chen ZL, North AJ, Strickland S. Laminin is required for Schwann cell morphogenesis. J. Cell Science, 122: 929-936, 2009.
Yu WM*, Yu HX*, Chen ZL*, Strickland S. Schwann cell-specific disruption of laminins impedes non-myelinating Schwann cell development and impairs nociceptive sensory function. Glia, 58: 850-859, 2009 (cover article and selected by Faculty of 1000 Biology as recommended article, *contributed equally, published online Dec 2008).
Yu WM, Yu HX, Chen ZL. Laminins in peripheral nerve development and muscular dystrophy. Mol. Neurobiol., 35: 288-297, 2007.
Chen ZL*, Yu WM*, Strickland S. Peripheral Regeneration. Annu. Rev. Neurosci., 30: 209-33, 2007 (*contributed equally to the chapter).
Yu WM, Feltri ML, Wrabetz L, Strickland S, Chen ZL. Schwann cell-specific ablation of laminin γ1 causes apoptosis and prevents proliferation. J. of Neuroscience, 25: 4463-4472, 2005 (cover article).
Akassoglou, K. Yu WM, Akpinar P, Strickland S. Fibrin inhibits peripheral nerve remyelination by regulating Schwann cell differentiation. Neuron, 33: 861-875, 2002.