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Alex Blasky

CSD Graduate Student

CSD Graduate Student - Alex Blasky

Email: Alex Blasky

Lab Phone: 303-724-4688

First Year Lab Rotations:

Rotation 1: Lee Niswander's Lab (2008): Lungs undergo a complex series branching events during development. During my rotation, I used mouse lung explants to identify key regulators of lung branching morphogenesis.

Rotation 2: Bruce Appel's Lab (2009): Nerve myelination enables rapid relay of information between the central and peripheral nervous systems. During my rotation, I investigated a mutation that disrupted myelination of peripheral nerves.

Rotation 3: Tom Evans' Lab (2009): Using c. elegans as a model, I investigated the regulation and function of ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complexes during oogenesis.

Thesis Advisor:   Bruce Appel

Current Research:

Peripheral nerves are responsible for relaying motor and sensory information between the central nervous system and the peripheral tissues. For over a century, scientific literature describing the development of the peripheral nerve has focused primarily on the relationship between the axon and its myelinating glia, the Schwann cell. However, the recent discovery of perineurial glia, a second nerve ensheathing glial cell, highlighted a significant deficiency in our understanding. Our in vivo time-lapse imaging demonstrates coordinated cellular interactions occur between Schwann cells and perineurial glia during motor axon development. However, the precise function of perineurial glia during nerve development remains unclear. My research is focused on understanding both how perineurial glia are specified from a precursor population and how they function during nerve development.

Selected Presentations:

Comprehensive Exam, December 9, 2010:

"Specification and function of perineurial glia during zebrafish motor nerve development"

Honors and Awards:

University of Wisconsin - Madison Personal Development Grant (2007)

  • Wiseman RW*, Wojcechowskyj JA*, Greene JM, Blasky AJ, Gopon T, Soma T, Friedrich TC, O’connor SL, O’connor DH (2007) Simian Immunodeficiency Virus SIVmac239 Infection of Major Histocompatibility Complex-Identical Cynomolgus Macaques from Mauritius. J Virol 81: 349-361.

  • O’connor SL, Blasky AJ, Pendley CJ, Becker EA, Wiseman RW, Karl JA, Hughes AL, O’connor DH (2007) Comprehensive characterization of MHC class II haplotypes in Mauritian cynomolgus macaques. Immunogenetics 59 (6): 449-62.

  • Karl JA, Wiseman RW, Campbell KJ, Blasky AJ, Hughes AL, Ferguson B, Read DS, and O’Connor DH. (2008) Identification of MHC class I sequences in Chinese-origin rhesus macaques. Immunogenetics 60 (1): 37-46.

  • Pendley CJ*, Becker EA*, Karl JA, Blasky AJ, Wiseman RW, Hughes AL, O’connor SL, and O’Connor DH. (2008) MHC class I characterization of Indonesian cynomolgus macaques. Immunogenetics 60 (7): 339-51.

  • Greene JM, Burwitz BJ, Blasky AJ, Mattila TL, Hong JJ, Rakasz EG, Wiseman RW, O’Connor SL & O’Connor DH. (2008) Allogeneic lymphocytes persist and traffic in feral MHC-matched Mauritian macaques. PLoS ONE 3(6): e2384.

  • Blasky AJ, Karl JA, Read DS, Wiseman RW, and O’Connor DH. (2008) Rapid high resolution MHC class I genotyping of Chinese rhesus macaques by capillary reference strand mediated conformational analysis. Immunogenetics 60 (10): 575-84.

  • Campbell KJ*, Detmer AM*, Karl JA, Wiseman RW, Blasky AJ, Hughes AL, Bimber BN, O’Connor SL and O’Connor DH. (2009) Characterization of 47 MHC class I sequences in Filipino cynomolgus macaques. Immunogenetics 61 (3): 177-187.

  • *Denotes Co-Authorship

    Undergraduate Education:

    Bachelor of Science, Biology, St. Norbert College, De Pere, WI, 2004.

    Experience Prior to Joining CSD Graduate Program:

  • Associate Research Specialist, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 2006-2008.

  • HIV Clinical Technologist, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, NY, 2005-2006.

  • Why did you decide to pursue a PhD in Cell Biology, Stem Cells & Development?

    I am fascinated by a single cell’s ability to generate a vast diversity of tissue and organs, culminating in the creation of organisms as divergent in design and complexity as the hydra and the human. What mechanisms influence these dynamic processes? What insight can we gain through understand how organisms develop and how might we adapt this for therapeutic purposes? Questions like these are the driving force behind my decision to pursue my PhD in the CSD program.

    Why did you choose CU's Anschutz Medical Campus?

    The people. Having a great group of faculty and students to support and encourage you both in your scientific training and personal development makes all the difference.

    What has been the biggest surprise to you since you arrived here?

    Activities! With an abundance of sunny days and active people you can always find something to do in Denver. Soccer, hiking, snowboarding, biking, running…you name it, you can do it here (even trampoline dodgeball)!

    Where were you born?

    Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

    Where did you grow up?

    Maybrook, New York.

    When did you start the graduate program at Anschutz Medical Campus?

    Fall, 2006.

    What do you like about living in Colorado?

    The sunshine!

    What do you like about the Anschutz Medical Campus?

    AMC provides a collaborative atmosphere and the access to different core facilities.