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Jill Weimer, Ph.D.

jill.weimer@sanfordhealth.org

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Position:

  • Assistant Scientist, Sanford Research/USD

Education:

  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Neuroscience, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, N.C.
  • Ph.D., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience
  • M.S., University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry, Neuroscience, Rochester N.Y.
  • B.S., University of Rochester, Neuroscience, Rochester N.Y.

Current Research:

The research objective of the Weimer lab is to understand novel mechanisms controlling the development of the cerebral cortex with an emphasis on events regulating neural stem proliferation and neuronal differentiation. Disruption in various aspects of nuronal proliferatino and placement have been shown to contribute to an array of neurodevelopmental migration defects, including leptomeningial heterotopias, subcortical band heterotopias and periventricular heteropias, all of which can lead to severe mental retardation, developmental delays and moderate to severe epileptic seizures, and are thought to contribute to developmental disorders such as lissencephalies, autism and schizophrenia.

Our current work focuses on understanding the developmental role of two proteins: (1) myristoylated alanine-rich C-kinase substrate protein (MARCKS), an actin-cross-linking protein and prominent cellular substrate of PKC, which is required for proper proliferation and placement of cortical neurons in the developing cerebral cortex, and (2) CLN6, the protein mutated in variant late-onset neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis (vLINCL), a childhood neurodegenerative disorder resulting from aberrant neuronal cell loss and pathological accumulation of lysosomal autofluorescent storage material in the central nervous system.