Kelsey Krus

Program: Neurosciences

Current advisor: Aaron DiAntonio, MD, PhD

Undergraduate university: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Research summary
My research focuses on the effects of STMN2 depletion on the nervous system. STMN2 mRNA is regulated by the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis associated protein, TDP-43, and is depleted in ALS patient spinal cords. Furthermore, our lab has shown that STMN2 acts as an axon protective factor delaying axon degeneration after injury and maintains the neuromuscular junction (NMJ) in Drosophila. Most studies thus far have been conducted in cultured neurons or postmortem patient samples. To better understand the effects of STMN2 depletion on the nervous system in vivo, we created a STMN2 knockout mouse. We determined that STMN2 depletion results in severe neuromuscular junction pathology and denervation. Moreover, this denervation specifically affects distal, fast-fatiguable motor units, replicating common ALS pathology. We determined that even partial STMN2 reduction leads to a progressive, late onset, motor neuropathy with distal NMJ denervation. Through these studies, we determined that TDP-43 mediated STMN2 depletion likely causes some aspects of ALS pathology.

Graduate publications
Krus KL, Strickland A, Yamada Y, Devault L, Schmidt RE, Bloom AJ, Milbrandt J, DiAntonio A. 2022 Loss of Stathmin-2, a hallmark of TDP-43-associated ALS, causes motor neuropathy. Cell Rep, 39(13):111001.

Salles A, Awad M, Goldin L, Krus K, Lee JV, Schwabe MT, Lai CK. 2019 Estimating Implicit and Explicit Gender Bias Among Health Care Professionals and Surgeons. JAMA Netw Open, 2(7):e196545.


Back to full list