Neuroscience Graduate Program - Student Profile

Alec Nickolls

Student Profile

Research | Presentations & Posters | Publications | Accomplishments | Hobbies & Outside Interests

Research Description

I work in the laboratory of Dr. Carsten Bonnemann at the National Institutes of Health. Our group seeks to understand the genetic basis for childhood neuromuscular disorders, applying this information to develop molecular therapies.

My thesis focuses on a novel disorder discovered in our clinic, resulting from null mutations in the stretch-gated ion channel PIEZO2 and characterized by selective loss of gentle touch sensation and proprioception. My recent work involves developing an in vitro model to study PIEZO2 loss-of-function in human peripheral sensory neurons.

In a separate project, I have also developed a 3D organoid model of basal lamina formation that allowed us to investigate extracellular matrix defects in muscular dystrophy.

Presentations and Posters


Nickolls AR and Bonnemann CB. The roles of dystroglycan in the nervous system: insights from animal models of muscular dystrophy. Dis Model Mech. Submitted.

Conrad MS, Dilger RN, Nickolls AR, Johnson RW. Magnetic resonance imaging of the neonatal piglet brain. Pediatr Res. 2012. 71, 179-184.


Hobbies and Outside Interests