Krista Bluske

Ph.D. 2012

Thesis Title:

Investigating neurogenesis and cell type specification in the mammalian thalamus

Current Position:

Curation Scientist, Illumina

Former Position(s):

Postdoctoral Fellow, Developmental Neuroscience, The Scripps Institute, California.

Undergraduate Institution and Major/Degree:

University of Wisconsin, Madison - BS 2006 - Biology

Major Advisor:

Yasushi Nakagawa, Ph.D.

Research Description:

I am interested in the role of transcription factors in patterning the developing thalamus and their role in the development of thalmocortical axons. 

Courses Taken Beyond the Core Courses:

  • GCD Advanced Developmental Biology
  • GCD Advanced Genetics

Conferences Attended:

  • Society for Neuroscience - Fall 2006, 2009
  • Society for Developmental Biology annual meeting

Committee Members:

  • Paul Letourneau - Chair
  • Steve McLoon
  • Laura Gammill
  • Yasushi Nakagawa - Advisor


  • Bluske KK, Vue TY, Kawakami Y, Taketo MM, Yoshikawa K, Johnson JE, Nakagawa Y. beta-catenin signaling specifies progenitor cell identity in concert with Shh signaling in the developing mammalian thalamus. Development 2012;139:2692-702.
  • Wang L*, Bluske KK*, Dickel LK, Nakagawa Y. Basal progenitor cells in the embryonic mouse thalamus - their molecular characterization and the role of neurogenins and Pax6. Neural Dev. 2011 Nov 11;6:35. (*: co-first authors)
  • Vue TY, Bluske KK, Alishahi A, Yang L, Koyano-Nakagawa N, Novitch B, Nakagawa Y. Sonic hedgehog signaling controls thalamic progenitor identity and nuclei specification in mice. J Neurosci. 2009;29(14):4484-4497.
  • Bluske KK, Kawakami Y, Koyano-Nakagawa N, Nakagawa Y. Differential activity of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling in the embryonic mouse thalamus. Dev Dyn. 2009;238:3297-309.

Awards and Honors:

  • Graduate School Fellowship for 2006-2007
  • 2010 - University of Minnesota GPN Stark Award
  • 2010 - University of Minnesota Developmental Biology Center/Stem Cell Institute Symposium Best Poster Award

Home Town:

  • Red Wing, MN
Krista Bluske