Molecular Neuroscience Laboratory
Lab head: William (Bill) Phillips
Location: F13 - Anderson Stuart Building
The Phillips lab studies the molecular mechanisms of synapse development and adaptation, focusing on the mammalian neuromuscular synapse. Developmental signalling pathways such as the muscle specific kinase (MuSK) system are thought to help the neuromuscular synapse adapt and survive. We use mouse and cell culture models to study how the MuSK system can help protect the synapse in mouse and cell culture models of several neuromuscular disease.
Lab members: W Phillips (head)
Molecular changes at the aging neuromuscular synapse as causes of synapse loss and muscle weakness (sarcopenia)
Primary supervisor: William Phillips
The neuromuscular junction is the synapse through which motor nerves control our voluntary muscle fibres. Late in life many of these synapses are lost. The resulting loss of muscle control is thought to contribute to the progressive and debilitating weakness of old age (sarcopenia). This project will investigate changes in the molecular structure at the aging neuromuscular synapse that might explain why the nerve terminal withdraws from its longstanding synaptic relationship with the muscle fibre. We will also investigate the possible therapeutic effects of voluntary exercise and anti-oxidants in aging mice, interventions that might forestall loss of synapses and weakness