Document Type


Date of Degree Completion

Spring 2024

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



Committee Chair

Todd Kroll

Second Committee Member

Gil Belofsky

Third Committee Member

Levente Fabry-Asztalos


The neocortex is the largest region of mammalian brains and is responsible for the complex cognitive abilities and behaviors of mammals. The neocortex of mature mammals is divided into concise areas, which process sensory information from ears, eyes, and touch receptors, and regulate conscious movement of muscles. The combined graded expressions of several transcription factors over the embryonic neocortical ventricular zone regulates the sizes of these functional areas in the adult neocortex. Although progress has been made in understanding how transcription factors affect neocortical patterning, additional research is required to fully understand the underlying molecular mechanism(s), which will contribute to a better understanding of brain development and function and will have implications for the study of neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders. It is becoming clear that transcription factors do not function alone, but rather through interactions with other proteins, that improve the specificity of their regulatory functions. The focus of our work is to identify novel proteins that interact with the transcription factors involved in neocortical arealization and that thereby may contribute to this process. The goal of the current project is to investigate the potential protein-protein interaction between the transcription factor PAX6 and ribosomal protein S20 (RPS20). Initial yeast two-hybrid assays indicated a positive interaction between PAX6 and RPS20. However, further analysis suggested that the result may be a false-positive.