Research Neurons show extremely diverse forms with important implications for nervous system wiring and neuronal function. Our research goal is to have a better understanding of how neurons acquire their morphology, and to use the revealed mechanisms to manipulate neuronal growth. To do this, we study the morphology and function of the nervous system of a simple model, the medicinal leech. We look for physical as well as molecular mechanisms that govern the growth of identified single neurons in the intact animal and in culture. We develop nano-based technologies to engineer neuronal growth.