Judith S. Eisen
University of Oregon
Neurosciences, Cognitive Sciences, and Behavioral Biology
Eisen was the first to describe individually identified vertebrate spinal motoneurons. She discovered an early time window during which motoneuron subtype identity depends on highly localized environmental signals, as well as defining the intrinsic genetic networks that determine motoneuron subtype identity after this window closes. She similarly showed a window in neural crest development during which interactions among trunk neural crest cells influence the fates of their progeny. More recently she demonstrated requirements for the enteric nervous system to regulate bacterial competition and composition within the intestinal microbiota and how changes in the microbiota positively and negatively impact intestinal health.