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Marina Venero-Galanternik




Assistant Professor of Human Genetics

The Venero-Galanternik Lab

Developmental Neurobiology

Neurovascular Biology

Cellular Neurobiology


B.Sc. 2006, Universidad Nacional Agraria La Molina; Ph.D. 2015; University of Utah; IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow, 2015-2023, Eunice Kennedy Shriver NICHD, National Institutes of Health


Mechanisms regulating Meningeal Development

Research in the Venero Galanternik lab focuses on the meninges, an extremely important but poorly understood set of membranous tissues that envelop and protect the vertebrate central nervous system (CNS). The meninges are essential for waste removal from the brain and brain homeostasis, and they protect the CNS from mechanical insults and infection. Meningeal dysfunction due to disease is both highly prevalent and associated with high levels of morbidity and mortality. It is estimated that nearly 3 million cases of meningitis occur globally each year, causing the death of approximately 30% of these patients, and survivors are frequently left with permanent neurological damage. Similarly, pathological meningeal waste accumulation associated with a variety of chronic diseases and with aging is highly associated with neurodegeneration and neurocognitive decline. Despite their critical roles, little is known about resident meningeal cell populations and how they work together to accomplish their important protective functions.

In mammals the meninges lie immediately adjacent to a thick opaque skull, making them challenging to image them in vivo, limiting detailed characterization of meningeal cell types in mammals, and few specific markers and genes associated with these cell types have been identified. The genetic and experimental accessibility of the zebrafish, combined with the ability to perform high-resolution optical imaging of the brain surface through the thin, transparent skull of developing and even adult animals, make zebrafish an ideal research

organism for studying the meninges. Our studies have revealed that, contrary to classical descriptions of teleost fishes, zebrafish have complex, multilayered meninges that strongly resemble those of mammals, making the fish a powerful and translatable model for comparative studies of meningeal development, function, and pathology. Our lab has established a strong anatomical, cellular and molecular foundation for zebrafish meningeal research. Our ongoing goals are focused on the understanding of the biological events regulating meningeal formation, meningeal cells functions and investigating the potential crosstalk between the meninges and their adjacent tissues during homeostasis and disease.

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Last Updated: 3/13/24