Background and activities

Nathalie Jurisch-Yaksi is a group leader at the Department of Clinical and Molecular Medicine at NTNU and an associate professor (10%) at the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience. She is supervising a team of 3 PhD and 1 medical students. Dr Jurisch-Yaksi uses the genetically tractable small model organism zebrafish and a combination of techniques including genetics, molecular and cell biology, functional imaging, quantitative behavioral assays and applied mathematics in order to study the following questions:

The role of cilia in the development and function of the nervous system: The cilium is a small cellular appendage projecting from the surface of most cells, like a tiny antenna. It can generate flow or play a structural, sensory or signaling role in many tissues. Hence, defects in cilia observed in ciliopathy patients affect multiple organs and result in developmental defects, heart and kidney disease, respiratory dysfunction, anosmia and neurological disorders. Using a combination of genetics, fluid dynamics and imaging techniques, we investigate cellular and physiological mechanisms regulating ciliary function and motility, in vivo. We are particularly interested in ciliated cells in the olfactory system and ependymal cells lining the brain ventricles.

Neural mechanisms underlying neurological diseases: We are interested to understand how specific genetic disease mutations identified in humans affect brain development and function using zebrafish as model organism. We collaborate with clinicians working on epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disorders. Together, we characterize novel genes mutated in human diseases using state-of-the-art genetic engineering and neuroscience approaches. We believe that this approach can help us to not only shed light on the function of specific genes in healthy brains but also inspire the development of novel therapies against these genetic diseases.

List of publications: 


Scientific, academic and artistic work

A selection of recent journal publications, artistic productions, books, including book and report excerpts. See all publications in the database

Journal publications