Date Thesis Awarded


Access Type

Honors Thesis -- Access Restricted On-Campus Only

Degree Name

Bachelors of Science (BS)




Margaret Saha

Committee Members

Randolph Coleman

Dana Willner


The anterior-posterior (A-P) axis is key in proper development of the nervous system. The molecular mechanisms behind neural tissue plasticity, especially with regards to the A-P axis, are not fully understood. Detailed investigation of the interaction between various developmental signaling pathways is required to gain a better understanding of both spatial and temporal gene expression that induces plasticity. A clear window of plasticity between the mid- and late gastrula stages has been determined for Xenopus laevis. A full transcriptomic analysis of changes in gene expression following three physical neural tissue perturbations at these two different stages of development reveals key pathways and processes required for recovery from these perturbations. Using these differentially expressed genes, follow-up experiments using in situ hybridizations and a pharmacological inhibitor further reveal spatial distribution of various factors, especially those involved in the Wnt planar cell polarity pathway. A strong understanding of these molecular mechanisms will be key in clinical applications such as adult spinal cord injury and neural tube closure defects in infants.

Available for download on Monday, May 12, 2025

On-Campus Access Only