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Faculty headshot of Jeff Rasmussen, PhD

Jeff Rasmussen PhD

UW Biology
Assistant Professor

Email: rasmuss@uw.edu | Phone: 206.616.7248

Our lab uses zebrafish to gain insights into neuronal and tissue plasticity, both during development and following injury. The skin is our largest sensory organ and is densely innervated by somatosensory nerve endings that sense pain and touch. Nerve regeneration is often incomplete following skin injury, and sensory loss is a major complication associated with diabetes and chemotherapy. Using the imaging advantages of the zebrafish system and novel remodeling assays developed in the lab, we have identified interactions between somatosensory nerve endings and several specialized cell types (including osteoblasts, resident macrophages, and sensory cells) within the skin tissue environment. Our long-term goals are to understand: (1) the molecular basis for these axon-tissue interactions; and (2) how these interactions regulate tissue form and function, both during development and in disease states.