Ava Udvadia
Ava Udvadia
Associate Professor
Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

B.S. University of Michigan,
Cell and Molecular Biology, 1989
Ph.D. Duke University,
Molecular Cancer Biology, 1995

Post-doctoral Fellow
Duke University, Neuroscience, 1996-2001

Office: WATER Institute, 225
Lapham SB80
Phone: WATER Institute 414-382-1761
Lapham 414-229-3404
FAX: 414-382-1705
Email: audvadia@uwm.edu

Research Interests

Unlike mammals, fish have a robust capacity for functional regeneration in their central nervous system after injury. My laboratory is using the zebrafish as a model organism to understand the molecular mechanisms regulating developmental and regenerative axon growth. We are taking two complementary approaches to these questions. First we are studying the regulation of a gene involved in both developmental and regenerative axon growth, GAP-43. Previously we demonstrated that this gene is regulated differently during developmental and regenerative axon growth and are now focused on discovering the signaling pathways that impinge on the gene regulatory elements that mediate regenerative expression. In a second approach we have created a subtraction library enriched in novel sequences that are selectively expressed in neurons undergoing axon growth. In a pilot study we have isolated 178 unique sequences. We are currently using a combination of molecular genetic and live imaging techniques to functionally analyze these genes for a role in neuronal differentiation, axonogenesis and/or synaptogenesis. We are also interested in a similar analysis of sequences that are selectively expressed in newly differentiated and regenerating neurons in the adult CNS.

Axon growth Specific areas of interest include:
  1. Identification of gene regulatory elements within genes that are targeted by axon growth signaling pathways during development and regeneration.

  2. Discovery and characterization of gene transcripts and their encoded products that are enriched in developing and regenerating neurons

  3. Effects of GAP-43 phosphorylation on axon growth and plasticity in developing and adult zebrafish

  4. Effects of aquatic contaminants on gene regulation in the developing vertebrate nervous system

GAP43-GFP fishSelected Publications

Dena R. Hammond and Ava J. Udvadia, 2010. Cabin1 expression suggests roles in neuronal development. Developmental Dynamics 239: 2443–2451.

Brandon W. Kusik, Dena R. Hammond, and Ava J. Udvadia, 2010. Transcriptional regulatory regions of gap43 needed in developing and regenerating retinal ganglion cells. Developmental Dynamics 239: 482-495.

Angela Schmoldt, Jennifer Forecki, Dena R. Hammond, and Ava J. Udvadia, 2009. Exploring differential gene expression in zebrafish to teach basic molecular biology skills. Zebrafish 6:187-199.

Ava J. Udvadia, 2008. 3.6 kb genomic sequence from Takifugu capable of promoting axon growth associated gene expression in developing and regenerating zebrafish neurons. Gene Expression Patterns 8: 382-388.

Brandon W. Kusik, Michael J. Carvan III, Ava J. Udvadia, 2008. Detection of Environmental Oxidative Stress using EPRE reporter zebrafish. Marine Biotechnology, 10: 750-757.

Daniel N. Weber, Victoria Connaughton, John Dellinger, David Klemer, Ava Udvadia, Michael J. Carvan III, 2008. Selenomethionine reduces visual deficits due to developmental methylmercury exposures. Physiology and Behavior 93 (1), p.250-260.

J. Rudi Strickler, Ava J. Udvadia, John Marino, Nick Radabaugh, Josh Ziarek, and Ai Nihongi, 2005. Visibility as a Factor in the Copepod - Planktivorous Fish Relationship. Scientia Marina, 69 (Supp. 1) 111-124.

Linney, E., and Udvadia, A. J., 2004. Construction and detection of fluorescent germ-line transgenic zebrafish. Methods in Molecular Biology 254: 271-288.

Ava J. Udvadia and Elwood Linney, 2003. Windows into Development: Historic, Current and Future Perspectives on Transgenic Zebrafish. Developmental Biology, 256: 1-17.

Ava J. Udvadia, Reinhard W. Köster, and J. H. Pate Skene, 2001. GAP-43 Promoter Elements in Transgenic Zebrafish Reveal a Difference in Signals for Axon Growth During CNS Development and Regeneration. Development, 128: 1175-1182.

Sarah B. Kennet, Ava J. Udvadia, and Jonathan M. Horowitz, 1997. Sp3 Encodes Multiple Proteins That Differ in Their Capacity to Stimulate or Repress Transcription. Nucleic Acids Research, 25: 3110-3117.

Jonathan M. Horowitz and Ava J. Udvadia, 1995. Regulation of Transcription by the Retinoblastoma (Rb) Protein. Molecular and Cellular Differentiation, 3: 275-314. (Conceptualization: 50%; Writing: 50%; invited review article).

Ava J. Udvadia, Dennis J. Templeton, and Jonathan M. Horowitz, 1995. Functional Interactions Between the Retinoblastoma (Rb) Protein and Sp-Family Members: Superactivation by Rb Requires Amino Acids Necessary for Growth Suppression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 92: 3953-3957.

Yoshihiko Murata, Hyung Goo Kim, Kathleen T. Rogers, Ava J. Udvadia, and Jonathan M. Horowitz, 1994. Negative Regulation of Sp1 Transactivation Is Correlated With the Binding of Cellular Proteins to the Amino Terminus of the Sp-1 Trans-Activation Domain. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 269: 20674-20681.

Ava J. Udvadia, Kathleen T. Rogers, Peter D. R. Higgins, Yoshihiko Murata, Karen H. Martin, Peter A. Humphrey, and Jonathan M. Horowitz, 1993. Sp-1 Binds Promoter Elements Regulated by the Rb Protein and Sp-1 Mediated Transcription is Stimulated by Rb Co-Expression. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA, 90: 3265-3269.

Ava J. Udvadia, Kathleen T. Rogers, and Jonathan M. Horowitz, 1992. A Common Set of Nuclear Factors Bind to Promoter Elements Regulated by the Retinoblastoma Protein. Cell Growth and Differentiation, 3: 597-607.