Skip to Search Skip to Navigation Skip to Content


Asif Mirza Maroof, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Phone: (210) 458-7950

Areas of Specialization

» Neurobiology and development
» Pathophysiology in neurological disease
» Stem cell differentiation and patterning

UTSA Neurosciences Institute


Ph.D. in Neuroscience; Cornell University
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering; Columbia University
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering; Columbia University


Research Interests

Dr. Maroof's lab is interested in understanding the molecular and physiological aspects of cellular dysfunction that occur in the brain with aging, injury, or disease. Using pluripotent stem cells induced from human patients (hIPS) with Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Frontotemporal Lobar Degeneration associated with Dementia (FTLD), or Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), the lab applies several differentiation paradigms to generate and isolate distinct subgroups of fate-committed neurons and glia. These cells are then co-cultured with cells derived from transgenic mouse models of neurodegenerative disease, which are useful in determining the molecular interactions that render specific neural cell types susceptible or resistant to neurotoxicity at distinct, progressive stages of disease.


Training Opportunities

To study cellular dysfunction with neurodegeneration, the Maroof lab implements several novel and published models for AD, FTLD, or ALS. Through in vitro assays that use co-cultures of both primary neural cells isolated from transgenic mice and hIPS cells differentiated into forebrain-committed neurons and glia, several defined pathological stages of disease progression can be examined using biological and physiological techniques. Upon discovery of the molecular determinants that lead to toxicity or resistance in distinct human neuronal subgroups, these in vitro assays would be applicable in high throughput screening (HTS) platforms enabling the identification of novel therapeutic targets at pre- and post-symptomatic stages. Furthermore, several fundamental aspects of human cortical circuit maturation, from the formation of synaptic connections to the modulation of neuronal network behavior, will be studied.



Merkle FT, Maroof A, Wataya T, Sasai Y, Studer L, Eggan K, Schier AF: Generation of neuropeptidergic hypothalamic neurons from human pluripotent stem cells. Development. Feb 15;142(4):633-43. 2015. PMID: 25670790.

Suzuki N*, Maroof AM*, Merkle FT, Koszka K, Intoh A, Armstrong I, Moccia R, Davis-Dusenbery BN, Eggan K: The mouse C9ORF72 ortholog is enriched in neurons known to degenerate in ALS and FTD. Nat Neurosci. 2013 Dec 16(12):1725-7. 2013. PMID: 24185425. (*equal contribution)

Maroof AM, Keros S, Tyson JA, Ying SW, Ganat YM, Merkle FT, Liu B, Goulburn A, Stanley EG, Elefanty AG, Widmer HR, Eggan KC, Goldstein PA, Anderson SA, Studer L: Directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into cortical interneurons. Cell Stem Cell, 12(5): 559-72. 2013 PMID: 23642365.

Maroof AM, Brown K, Shi S, Studer L, and Anderson SA: Prospective Isolation of Cortical Interneuron Precursors from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells. Journal of Neuroscience, 30(13): 4667-75. 2010. PMID: 20357117.