Date of Award

Spring 5-15-2023

Author's School

Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

Author's Department

Biology & Biomedical Sciences (Computational & Systems Biology)

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Type



Adult zebrafish are capable of anatomical and functional recovery following severe spinal cord injury. Significant advances for understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of innate spinal cord repair are best supported by accurate assessment of swim function. This study introduces neuromuscular-associated measurements derived from gait and posture, compares new and classical functional measurements longitudinally, and provides a comprehensive correlative analysis of various functional and cellular regeneration outputs. It also explores trajectories of functional regeneration through tensor decomposition and demonstrates that swim function at 2 weeks post-injury can be used to predict 8-week regeneration outcomes. By establishing swim quality metrics which are both distinct from previous measurements and demonstrably more associated with glial bridging and axon regrowth, this study has the potential to accelerate discovery and reduce redundancy in future studies. Software for this study, featuring zebrafish swim quality analysis, is now freely available.


English (en)

Chair and Committee

Mayssa H. Mokalled

Committee Members

Keith B. Hengen, Tao Ju, Robi D. Mitra, Zachary Pincus,