Welcome to the Lewis Lab in the Department of Biology at Syracuse University
The Lewis Lab explores multiple areas of biology, including specification and patterning of spinal cord interneurons, formation of functional neuronal circuitry, evolution of spinal cord patterning and function, dorsal-ventral neural tube patterning, and zebrafish development.
For example, Associate Professor Kate Lewis and her research team use genetics, cell biology, and developmental biology to determine which regulatory genes are expressed by particular types of nerve cells or neurons and the roles of these genes in determining the specific functional characteristics of these cells.
The Lewis Lab team predominantly uses zebrafish as a model system, as its relatively simple nervous system facilitates easy study of neural circuitry and function, as well as cell fate specification of single and multiple cells. The knowledge they gain from this research can be used to develop more effective treatments for nervous system diseases, disorders, and tumors and to facilitate the repair of particular nerves after injury or neurodegeneration. For example, understanding the roles different genes play in particular neurons should help researchers to grow specific types of neurons from stem cells to treat neural diseases, stroke, and spinal cord injuries.