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Ethan Hughes, Ph.D.

Associate Professor

Ethan Hughes Anschutz Cell Developmental Biology
 (303) 724.3122
 Ph.D.   University of Pennsylvania, 2009
 Hughes Lab Website

Graduate Program Affiliations:

Neuron-glia interactions in the adult CNS​​

The long-term goals of our work is to understand how neuron-glial interactions modulate brain function and contribute to pathology in neurodegenerative disease. Towards this goal, we study the interactions of oligodendrocyte lineage cells with neurons in the adult cerebral cortex.

Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-forming cells of CNS and their ensheathment of axons is essential for rapid synaptic communication. Oligodendrocyte dysfunction results in a diverse group of pediatric and adult disorders, most notably, X-linked adrenoleukodystrophy and multiple sclerosis. However, our understanding of the functions of oligodendrocytes and their precursors remains in its infancy. We use advanced imaging and cell-specific genetic manipulations to explore dynamic changes in neurons and glial cells in the living adult brain using long-term two-photon in vivo imaging, optogenetics, genetically encoded calcium indicators, and transcriptomics.

Hughes Lab -- Figure 3

In vivo-imagin​g of differentiation of an oligodendrocyte precursor cell over 10 days


Hughes Lab -- Figure 1

Colorized montage of in vivo imaging of the response of an individual oligodendrocyte precursor cell responding to a CNS injury (white) over 30 days

Hughes Lab -- Figure 2

Classification of individual myelin sheaths of oligodendrocytes in a 125 micron cubed volume of layer I of cortex acquired via in vivo imaging