Asif Mirza Maroof, Ph.D.
Ph.D. in Neuroscience; Cornell University
M.S. in Biomedical Engineering; Columbia University
B.S. in Biomedical Engineering; Columbia University
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 of the cortex. These cells are then co-cultured with cells derived from transgenic mouse models to produce physiologically functional circuits, 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.
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 using live cell fluorescence microscopy, multi-electrode array recordings, single cell characterization, and genome modification techniques.
Click here for a list of publications.