Emily Spaulding


  • B.S. Biology, Gordon College, 2005
  • M.Ed. Secondary Science Education, 2010


Because of my background in science teaching, I am also involved in educational outreach at The Jackson Laboratory.  I am working with addiction researcher Dr. Elissa Chesler to test if teaching the biological and behavioral basis of addiction using LEGOsâ is an effective strategy with which to change adolescent attitudes towards drug and alcohol use.  My ability to perform research in multiple disciplines during my PhD training is in large part thanks to the flexibility of the GSBSE program and its excellent faculty members at The Jackson Laboratory.

Research Interests

My dissertation work in cellular and molecular neuroscience is being conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Robert Burgess at The Jackson Laboratory.  I am interested in RNA function in the nervous system and how its disruption can lead to neurodegeneration.  The current goal of my research in the Burgess lab is to determine how dominant mutations in glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS) cause Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2D (CMT2D) peripheral neuropathy.  I am using in vivo, cell type-specific methods, including non-canonical amino acid-tagging and ribosome-tagging, to profile translation in motor neurons of established mouse models of CMT2D.  This approach is revealing testable disease mechanisms as well as uncovering new motor neuron biology.

Selected Publications

  • Morelli, K., Seburn, K., Schroeder, D., Spaulding, E., Dionne, L., Cox, G., Burgess, R. (2017). Severity of both demyelinating and axonal neuropathy mouse models is modified by genes affecting structure and function of peripheral nodes. Cell Rep. 18(3):3178-3191.
  • Sleigh, J., Dawes, J., West, S., Wei, N., Spaulding, E., Gomez-Martin, A., Burgess, R., Cader, M., Talbot, K., Yang, X., Bennett, D., Schiavo, G. (2017). Trk receptor signaling and sensory neuron fate are perturbed in human neuropathy caused by Gars mutations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114(16):E3324-E333.
  • Lisse, T., Middleton, L., Pellegrini, A., Martin, P., Spaulding, E., Lopes, O., Brochu, E., Carter, E., Waldron, Al, & Rieger. S. (2016).  Paclitaxel-induced epithelial damage and ectopic MMP-13 expression promotes neurotoxicity in zebrafish. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 113(15):E2189-198.
  • Spaulding, E., Sleigh, J., Morelli, K. Pinter, M., Burgess, R., & Seburn, K. (2016). Synaptic deficits at neuromuscular junctions in two mouse models of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2D. J Neurosci, 36(11):3254-3267.
  • Spaulding, E. & Burgess, R. (2017). Accumulating evidence for axonal translation in neuronal homeostasis. Front Neurosci. 11:312.

Dissertation Mentor

Robert Burgess