Joy Umbach, Ph.D.
23-154 Center for Health Sciences
Positions & Affiliations:
Adjunct Associate Professor Molecular annd Medical Pharmacology
My research uses electrophysiological and fluorescence imaging techniques to study mechanisms underlying synaptic function and synaptogenesis. In addition to characterizing the phenotype of fruit flies containing mutations in proteins important for synaptic function, I have collaborated with other groups to investigate neuromuscular junction formation by stem cell-derived motor neurons in vitro. More recently, I have explored a collaboration to study possible synaptic interactions between mammalian neurons and glioblastoma cells in culture. Collectively, these investigations have great potential as disease models as well as test systems for exploring candidate drugs.
1. Umbach JA, Adams KL, Gundersen CB, Novitch BG. (2012) Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36049.
2. Meriney, SD, Umbach, JA, Gundersen CB (2014) Fast, Ca2+dependent exocytosis at nerve terminals: shortcomings of SNARE-based models. Progress in Neurobiology 121: 55-90.
3. Adams KL, Rousso DL, Umbach JA, Novitch BG (2015) Foxp1-mediated programming of limb-innervating motor neurons from mouse and human embryonic stem cells. Nature Communications 6:6788.
Ph.D. in Neuroscience (UCLA); Postdoctoral Researcher at Kings College, London