My laboratory studies several interrelated topics in developmental neurobiology: neuronal survival, axon growth and pathfinding, and synapse formation. Trophic factors regulate each of these processes. Adhesion-promoting molecules in the extracellular matrix and on the surfaces of cells regulate axonal growth and differentiation at synapses. Some of these proteins are also important for maintaining the structure and function of the mature nervous system. Several may affect the progression of neurodegenerative diseases.