Sarah Kucenas

Professor of Biology; Director, Program in Fundamental Neuroscience; Co-Director of the Brain Institute; Faculty Director, CORE Scholars Program (HHMI Driving Change Initiative)
Gilmer 424
(434) 982-5436
Lab: (434) 243-2541


  • B.S., Valparaiso University, 2000
  • Ph.D., Saint Louis University, 2005
  • Postdoctoral, Vanderbilt University, 2005-2009

Research Interests

The Kucenas lab is fascinated by the cellular and molecular mechanisms that drive glial development. More specifically, we study how glia engineer neural development via glial-glial interactions. Using zebrafish (Danio rerio), coupled with genetic and pharmacological perturbation, single cell manipulation, laser ablation, small molecule screening, single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNAseq), proteomics, and in vivo, time-lapse imaging, we have discovered novel glial populations, revealed how glia communicate in several unique contexts, and created many new tools for our studies and the broader community. We approach science by leveraging our past discoveries and “chase the weird” to continue to decipher the cellular and molecular mechanisms that mediate glial-glial interactions during neural development, maintenance, and regeneration.

Representative Publications

For a comprehensive list of Dr. Kucenas' publications, please click here.