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Chemistry

Todd Kroll

Image of Todd Kroll sitting on stool in classroom

Assistant Professor, Biochemistry

Phone: (509) 963-2830 
Fax: (509) 963-1050 
Email: kroll@cwu.edu

Education:

  • 2002 - Ph.D. Biochemistry, University of Notre Dame; Advisor: Dr. Paul W. Huber
  • 1995 - B.S. Chemistry and Biology, Eastern Washington University

Professional Experience:

  • Sept. 2009 - present, Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, Central Washington University
  • Oct. 2004 - Sept. 2009, Postdoctoral Research Associate, Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory, Salk Institute for Biological Studies; Advisor: Dr. Dennis D.M. O'Leary

Research Interests:

My research interest is focused on understanding the mechanism mediating the partitioning of functional areas in the neocortex in mice. Neocortex is a mammalian-specific cortical structure that is the seat of consciousness. This structure is divided into discrete regions, called areas, that are each responsible for processing different types of information. For example, the visual area of neocortex processes information brought in from the eyes and the motor area makes decisions related to body movements.

mouse brain
The visual, motor and other functional areas are positioned in equivalent locations between individuals and different species, including humans; however, the size of these areas varies between individuals. Neurons in each of these functional areas have specific properties that are bestowed upon them when they are born. The properties that neurons located indifferent areas take on are regulated by the graded expression of several transcription factors (a type of protein that regulates the turning on and off of genes) in the progenitor cells. My group is researching protein-protein interactions mediating the action of this core group of transcription factors in neocortical arealization (the process that determines the sizes of neocortical areas). The ultimate goal of this research is to provide stem cell biologists with information that they can use to generate neurons to repair damaged neocortex in human brain trauma patients.

Selected Publications: