Kerry L. Tucker, Ph.D.
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences
I come from the North Shore of Massachusetts, and I studied biochemistry at Harvard College, starting my research career purifying clathrin proteins from sheep brain at Harvard Medical School. I continued my studies as a graduate student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in Cambridge, MA where I studied the role of DNA methylation in the development of the mouse, working in the lab of Rudolf Jaenisch. I then switched to developmental neuroscience as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Yves-Alain Barde at the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology in Munich, Germany, and subsequently as a group leader at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, from 2003 until 2013. In this time, I developed tools to visualize with fluorescent proteins the embryonic development of the central nervous system (CNS), using genetically-altered mice as a model. My laboratory has discovered that primary cilia, a special microtubule-based organelle found in every cell, control early events in CNS development, including morphogenesis, boundary formation, neurogenesis, and nerve outgrowth. With a career based in Germany, I developed many international collaborations exploring the role of primary cilia in the development of a variety of CNS structures, including the forebrain, midbrain, and spinal cord. After my return to the USA as an Associate Professor at the University of New England, I am now moving into the analysis of postnatal phenotypes associated with loss of primary cilia in specific neuronal populations. We hope thereby to model some of the cognitive / neurodevelopmental defects seen in subsets of patients with so-called ciliopathies, multispectrum diseases associated with defects in proteins localizing to the primary cilium or the underlying basal body.
Neuser F, Polack M, Annaheim C, Tucker K L, Korte M (2013) Region-specific integration of embryonic stem cell-derived neuronal precursors into a pre-existing neuronal circuit. PLoS One, 8(6), e66497. PMID: 23840491.
Nikolić M; Gardner H A R, Tucker K L (2013) Postnatal neuronal apoptosis in the cerebral cortex: Physiological and pathophysiological mechanisms. Neuroscience, 254, 369-378.
Willaredt M A; Gorgas K; Gardner H A R; Tucker K L (2012) Mulitple essential roles for primary cilia in heart development. Cilia, 1, 23. PMID: 23351706.
Scholl C; Weißmüller K; Pavlo Holenya P; Shaked-Rabi M; Tucker K L; Stefan Wölfl (2012) Distinct and overlapping gene regulatory networks in BMP- and HDAC-controlled cell fate determination in the embryonic forebrain. BMC Genomics, 13, 298. PMID: 22748179.
Tasouri E; Tucker K L (2011) Primary cilia and organogenesis: Is Sonic hedgehog the only sculptor? Cell Tissue Res, 345(1), 21-40.
Sanno H; Shen X; Kuru N; Bormuth I; Bobsin K; Gardner H A R; Komljenovic D; Tarabykin V; Erzurumlu R; Tucker K L (2010) Control of postnatal apoptosis in the neocortex by RhoA-subfamily GTPases determines neuronal density. J Neurosci, 30(12), 4221-4231. PMID: 20335457.
Willaredt M A; Hasenpusch-Theil K; Gardner H A R; Kitanovic I; Hirschfeld-Warneken V C; Gojak C P; Gorgas K; Bradford C L; Spatz J; Wölfl S; Theil T; Tucker K L (2008) A crucial role for primary cilia in cortical morphogenesis. J Neurosci, 28(48), 12887-12900. PMID: 19036983.
Brachmann I; Jakubick V C; Shaked M; Unsicker K; Tucker K L (2007) A simple slice culture system for the imaging of nerve development in embryonic mouse. Dev Dyn, 236(12), 3514-3523.
Wernig M; Benninger F; Schmandt T; Rade M; Tucker K L; Bussow H; Beck H; Brüstle O (2004) Functional integration of embryonic stem cell-derived neurons in vivo. J Neurosci, 24(22), 5258-5268. PMID: 15175396.
Bibel M; Richter J; Schrenk K; Tucker K L; Staiger V; Korte M; Götz M; Barde Y-A (2004) Differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into a defined neuronal lineage. Nat Neurosci, 7(9), 1003-1009.
Benninger F.; Beck H; Wernig M; Tucker K L; Brüstle O; Scheffler B (2003) Functional integration of embryonic stem cell-derived neurons in hippocampal slice cultures. J Neurosci, 23(18), 7075-7083. PMID: 12904468.
Tucker K L; Meyer M; Barde Y-A (2001) Neurotrophins are required for nerve growth during development. Nat Neurosci, 4(1), 29-37.
Yamashita T; Tucker K L; Barde Y-A (1999) Neurotrophin binding to the p75 receptor modulates Rho activity and axonal outgrowth. Neuron, 24(3), 585-593.