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The long-term goal of my laboratory is to decipher the etiology and pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS) – a CNS demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease that cripples the young and bright. With the firm belief that in order to decrypt the breakdown of myelin in MS, we have to understand how it is formed, our current efforts are centered on two major projects. One, defining the molecular mechanism of myelin sheath formation by following the synthesis of myelin membranes (MyMs), their packaging into myelinophore organelles (MFOs) and transportation along an oligodendrocyte process using live imaging of embryonic avian optic nerve at different stages of development; purifying and characterizing the contents of MFOs. Two, testing the hypothesis that ectosomes are the conveyors of signals that coordinate and orchestrate the modular structure of the myelinated axon. We are developing technologies to obtain pure cell-specific ectosomes by molecularly color-code them. We are also customizing a microfluidic platform suitable to integrate multiple processes in a single lab-on-a-chip format. We plan to establish unique EM grid compatible bi-chamber for OLG-neuron cultures and capture the formation of cell-specific ectosomes using correlative light and electron microscopy and phase contrast cryo-electron tomography. We will assemble tomograms of the initial OLG-neuron encounter so that we can structurally model the interface in a 3D space.