Clint Cave, Ph.D.
Clinton Cave is an Assistant Professor of Neuroscience at Middlebury College. Clinton holds a B.A. in Psychology from Yale University, and he completed his Ph.D. in Neuroscience and postdoctoral fellowship at Johns Hopkins University in the laboratory of Shanthini Sockanathan. Clinton’s doctoral work expanded the known roles of a small family of cell surface enzymes—the 6-transmembrane GDE proteins. These proteins are unique in their ability to enzymatically sever the lipid anchor of GPI-anchored proteins on the cell surface. During embryonic neurogenesis, this signaling axis is critical for the successful differentiation of spinal and cortical neurons. Using functional genetic approaches in mice, Clinton’s work demonstrated that GDE2 also plays a crucial role for neuronal survival in the postnatal nervous system. These efforts heralded a new line of research investigating how GDE2 dysfunction integrates into neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Clinton began his professorship at Middlebury in the fall of 2018. He teaches courses on Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, Behavioral Neuroscience, Neurodevelopment, and the History of Neuroscience. He runs a research laboratory with undergraduate students examining the molecular mechanisms regulating progenitor patterning, neurogenesis, and cell fate decisions in the vertebrate neural tube through the lens of GDE-GPI signaling. As a Next Generation Leader, Clinton is interested in developing tools and approaches at the intersection of neuroscience research and education.