Barbara Lom
Associate Professor & Chair of Biology
Davidson College

Biology Department •
Box 7118 • Davidson, NC 28035-7118

office: 162 Watson• lab: 157 Watson
704-894-2338 • fax:

BL's Fall 2009 schedule

Lom Lab Protocols

Lom Lab Members & Alumni

Journal of Undergraduate Neuroscience Education (JUNE)

Symposium for Young Neuroscientists And Professors of the Southeast

Davidson Courses
Biology 111 • Molecules, Genes, & Cells
Biology 306 • Developmental Biology
Biology 333 • Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience

Biology 351 • Microscopy & Imagaing in Neuroscience (Group Investigation)

Biology 371 • Independent Research

1989 • B.A. in Biology and Neuroscience, Lawrence University, Appleton, WI
1995 • Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL

Postdoctoral Fellowships
1995-1997 • Biology Department, UCSD, La Jolla, CA
1997-1999 • Mental Retardation Research Center, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA


My laboratory investigates how individual neurons wire themselves together into a precisely interconnected and functional nervous system. Specifically, the lab is interested in how growth factors direct axon extension and innervation, as well as the intracellular signaling mechanisms that translate external neurotrophic signals into specific cellular responses such as growth cone formation and the elaboration of axonal and dendritic arbors. Our neuron of choice is the retinal ganglion cell (RGC), the only type of neuron that connects the eye to the brain. These connections must be formed with extreme precision in order for an organism to obtain an accurate representation of the visual field. RGC cell bodies and dendrites reside in the retina, while thier axons follow a stereotypic pathway through the diencephalon to innervate their target neurons in the optic tectum. We can manipulate and observe developing RGCs particularly well in the South African claw-toed frog, (Xenopus laevis) tadpoles. With the developing Xenopus visual system we are studying how neurotrophic molecules influence RGC axonogenesis, axonal vs. dendritic arborization, growth cone navigation, target recognition, and synaptogenesis in vivo.

Selected Publications (* indicates undergraduate authors)

Ruble JE; Lom B (2008) Online protocol annotation: a method to enhance undergraduate laboratory research skills. CBE Life Sciences Education 7:296-301. (abstract & PDF)

Watson FL; Lom B (2008) More than a picture: helping undergraduates learn to communicate through scientific images. CBE Life Sciences Education 7:27-35 (abstract & PDF)

*Chemotti DC; *Davis SN; *Cook LW; *Willoughby IR; Paradise CJ; Lom B (2006) The pesticide malathion disrupts Xenopus and zebrafish embryogenesis: An investigative laboratory exercise in developmental toxicology. Bioscence: Journal of College Biology Teaching, 32:4-18.

*Cook LW; Paradise CJ; Lom B (2005)
The pesticide malathion reduces survival and growth in developing zebrafish. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 24: 1745-50. (abstract)

Cohen-Cory S; Lom B (2004) Neurotrophic regulation of retinal ganglion cell synaptic connectivity: From axons and dendrites to synapses. International Journal of Developmental Biology 48: 947-56. (abstract & PDF)

*Rigel R; Lom B (2004) Xenopus laevis retinal ganglion cell dendritic arbors develop independently of visual stimulation. Impulse 1: 51-58. (abstract & PDF)

Lom B; Cogen J; Lontok Sanchez AY; Vu T; Cohen-Cory S (2002) Local and target-derived brain-derived neurotrophic factor exert opposing effects on the dendritic arborization of retinal ganglion cells in vivo. Journal of Neuroscience 22: 7639-49. (abstract & PDF)

Lom B; Cohen-Cory S (1999) Brain-derived neurotrophic factor differentially regulates retinal ganglion cell dendritic and axonal arborization in vivo. Journal of Neuroscience 19: 9928-9938. (abstract & PDF)

Lom B; Hopker V; McFarlane S; Bixby JL; Holt CE (1998) Fibroblast growth factor receptor signaling in Xenopus retinal axon extension. Journal of Neurobiology 37: 633-641. (abstract)

Xenopus Staging Table (by Will Graham, '02)

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updated 29 August 2008