Sara Fenstermacher is a postdoctoral researcher in the laboratory of Dr. Thomas Jessell at Columbia University. She received her B.A. from Bucknell University and Ph.D. in neuroscience from Harvard University. Working with Dr. Rosalind Segal, she studied how neurotrophins promote axon viability through regulation of mRNA localization and translation in axons. This work has provided valuable insight into the molecular mechanisms that support the long-term health and survival of axons, which is essential for the maintenance of functional neural circuits.
A former dancer, Fenstermacher has a long-standing interest in how the nervous system generates movement. Neural circuits throughout the brain and spinal cord work in concert to produce precise, coordinated activation of muscles, which enables our vast repertoire of motor behavior. Her current research seeks to understand how neuromodulatory systems influence spinal circuits and produce changes in motor output.