Personal profile

Research Interests

My laboratory studies the regulation of spinal motor neuron and ventral midbrain dopaminergic neuron differentiation in development and disease. We want to understand what genetic and epigenetic mechanisms are utilized to regulate motor neuron and dopaminergic neuron differentiation and why these specific type of neurons degenerate in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and Parkinson's disease. To address these questions, we use a combination of biochemical, genetic and cell biological approaches, and utilize induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells reprogrammed from fibroblasts, genetically modified mice, and zebrafish as model systems. Based on our findings, we hope to develop new therapeutic strategies for treating SMA and Parkinson's disease.


  • Stem Cells
  • Developmental genetics
  • Developmental Neurobiology
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Neurogenetics
  • Aging

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

  • 4 Similar Profiles
Motor Neurons Medicine & Life Sciences
Phosphorylation Medicine & Life Sciences
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Medicine & Life Sciences
Genes Medicine & Life Sciences
src-Family Kinases Medicine & Life Sciences
GTP-Binding Proteins Medicine & Life Sciences
Dopaminergic Neurons Medicine & Life Sciences
Parkinson Disease Medicine & Life Sciences

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Research Output 1998 2017

  • 1398 Citations
  • 21 Article
  • 5 Review article

A novel ALS-associated variant in UBQLN4 regulates motor axon morphogenesis

Edens, B. M., Yan, J., Miller, N., Deng, H. X., Siddique, T. & Ma, Y. C. May 2 2017 In : eLife. 6, e25453

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
beta Catenin
2 Citations

Sirt3 protects dopaminergic neurons from mitochondrial oxidative stress

Shi, H., Deng, H. X., Gius, D., Schumacker, P. T., Surmeier, D. J. & Ma, Y. C. May 15 2017 In : Human Molecular Genetics. 26, 10, p. 1915-1926 12 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Sirtuin 3
Dopaminergic Neurons
Oxidative Stress
Pars Compacta
Superoxide Dismutase

The utility of stem cells in pediatric urinary bladder regeneration

Iannaccone, P. M., Galat, V., Bury, M. I., Ma, Y. C. & Sharma, A. K. Nov 8 2017 In : Pediatric Research.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

Urinary Bladder
Stem Cells
Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
45 Citations

Identification of TMEM230 mutations in familial Parkinson's disease

Deng, H. X. , Shi, Y. , Yang, Y. , Ahmeti, K. B. , Miller, N. , Huang, C. , Cheng, L. , Zhai, H. , Deng, S. , Nuytemans, K. , Corbett, N. J. , Kim, M. J. , Deng, H. , Tang, B. , Yang, Z. , Xu, Y. , Chan, P. , Huang, B. , Gao, X. P. , Song, Z. & 14 others Liu, Z., Fecto, F., Siddique, N., Foroud, T., Jankovic, J., Ghetti, B., Nicholson, D. A., Krainc, D., Melen, O., Vance, J. M., Pericak-Vance, M. A., Ma, Y. C., Rajput, A. H. & Siddique, T. Jul 1 2016 In : Nature Genetics. 48, 7, p. 733-739 7 p.

Research output: Research - peer-reviewArticle

Parkinson Disease
Synaptic Vesicles
7 Citations

Impaired autophagy and defective mitochondrial function: Converging paths on the road to motor neuron degeneration

Edens, B. M., Miller, N. & Ma, Y. C. Mar 3 2016 In : Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience. 10, MAR2016, 44

Research output: Research - peer-reviewReview article

Nerve Degeneration
Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
Motor Neurons