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Youngrae Ji, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Kyungpook National University, South Korea
Central projections of the vestibular nerves to the brain are complex; neurons from five vestibular organs of the inner ear project to four vestibular nuclei in the brain stem and granule cells of the cerebellum. While many known axonal guidance molecules are likely to be involved in establishing this neuronal network, my research project focuses on how the polarity of sensory hair cells contributes to this network formation. Neurons of vestibular macula, which exhibit opposite hair cell polarity pattern, are segregated based on the polarity of hair cells that they innervate. Similarly, in the neuromast organs of zebrafish lateral line, neurons only innervate sensory hair cells that share the same polarity. Using these two model systems, I am investigating how this selection takes place during development.