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M. Maral Mouradian, MD



M. Maral Mouradian, M.D., is the William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative and Neuroimmunologic Diseases at Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. She also holds joint professorships in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology and in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in the same institution. Dr. Mouradian obtained her medical degree with distinction from the American University of Beirut and neurology training at the University of Cincinnati Medical Center. She then joined the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) where she received postdoctoral training in clinical pharmacological research in Parkinson disease (PD) and other neurodegenerative diseases in the laboratory of Thomas Chase of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS). She received additional training in molecular biology under the tutelage of the Nobel Laureate Marshall Nirenberg at the National Health, Lung and Blood Institute. During the last thirteen years of her eighteen year NIH tenure, Dr. Mouradian directed the Genetic Pharmacology Unit of the NINDS. Her early work focused on the clinical neuropharmacology of levodopa, describing key pharmacodynamic alterations indicative of the brain's plasticity in response to pulsatile therapies. These seminal contributions provided the rationale for the development of continuous therapeutic modalities for PD. In addition, her team described a series of fundamental findings about the transcriptional regulation of dopamine receptor genes and identified and cloned transcription factors involved in modulating their expression.

Dr. Mouradian’s current research focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of PD with an emphasis on the mechanisms by which pathogenic gene products cause neurodegeneration and on the identification of disease modifying therapeutic approaches. Examples of her recent contributions to the field include the identification of key regulators of alpha-synuclein expression and aggregation, the role of microRNAs in this process, and the characterization of an apoptotic pathway controlled by DJ-1. She also has a program focused on elucidating the molecular underpinnings of L-dopa-induced dyskinesias and developing novel treatment approaches for these complications in advanced PD. To date, she has authored over 200 scholarly publications and edited two books on Parkinson disease. Her research is funded by the NIH, the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research and other foundations.

Dr. Mouradian is an elected member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society, a Fellow of the American Neurological Association and a Fellow of the American Academy of Neurology. She serves on grant review panels for the NIH and other national and international funding agencies, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Parkinson Disease Association. In addition, she is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Neurotherapeutics and serves on the editorial boards of several other scientific journals. Among her honors are the Roger Duvoisin Research Scholar Award from the American Parkinson Disease Association, the Excellence in Research Award from the New Jersey Health Foundation, the Outstanding Medical Scientist Award from the Edward J. Ill Excellence in Medicine Foundation, and the NIH Award of Merit.

Selected publications in the past ten years:

Junn, E., Taniguchi. H., Jeong, B.S., Zhao, X., Ichijo, H., Mouradian, M.M.: Interaction of DJ-1 with Daxx inhibits ASK1 activity and cell death. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 102(27): 9691-9696, 2005.

Ryu, M.Y., Kim, D.W., Arima, K., Mouradian, M.M., Kim, S.U., Lee, G.. Localization of CKII b subunits in Lewy bodies of Parkinson’s disease. J. Neurol. Sci., 266:9-12, 2008.

Junn, E., Jang, W.H., Zhao, X., Jeong, B.S., Mouradian, M.M.: Mitochondrial localization of DJ-1 leads to enhanced neuroprotection. J. Neurosci. Res., 87(1):123-129, 2009.

Junn, E., Lee. K.W., Jeong, B.S., Chan, T.W., Im. J.-Y., Mouradian, M.M.: Repression of a-synuclein expression and toxicity by microRNA-7. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106(31):13046-13051, 2009.

Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: microRNAs in neurodegenerative disorders. Cell Cycle, 9(9):1717-1721, 2010.

Im, J.-Y., Lee, K.-W., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: DJ-1 protects against oxidative damage by regulating the thioredoxin / ASK1 complex. Neurosci. Res., 67:203-208, 2010.

Cao, X., Yasuda, T., Uthayathas, S., Ray L. Watts, R.L., Mouradian, M.M., Mochizuki, H., Papa, S.M.: Striatal overexpression of DFosB reproduces chronic levodopa-induced involuntary movements. J. Neurosci., 30(21):7335-7343, 2010.

Lee, K.-W., Chen, W., Junn, E., Im, J.-Y., Gross, H., Sonsalla, P.K., Feng, X., Ray, N., Fernandez, J.R., Chao, Y., Masliah, E., Voronkov, M., Braithwaite, S.P., Stock, J.B., Mouradian, M.M.: Enhanced phosphatase activity attenuates a-synucleinopathy in a mouse model. J. Neurosci,. 31(19):6963-6971, 2011.

Kim, Y.M., Jang, W.H., Quezado, M.M., Oh, Y., Chung, K.C., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: Proteasome inhibition induces a-synuclein SUMOylation and aggregate formation. J. Neurol. Sci., 307(1-2):157-161, 2011.

Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: MicroRNAs in neurodegenerative diseases and their therapeutic potential. Pharmacol. Therap., 133(2):142-150, 2012.

Grosso, H., Mouradian, M.M.: Transglutaminase 2: Biology, relevance to neurodegenerative diseases and therapeutic implications. Pharmacol. Therap., 133(3):392-410, 2012.

Lee, K.-W., Zhao, X., Im, J.-Y., Grosso, H., Jang, W.H., Chan, T., Sonsalla, P.K., German, D.C. Ichijo, H., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: Apoptosis Signal Regulating Kinase 1 mediates MPTP toxicity and regulates glial activation. PLoS ONE 7(1): e29935, 2012.

Mouradian, M.M.: MicroRNAs in Parkinson’s disease. Neurobiol. Dis., 46:279-284, 2012.

Braithwaite, S.P., Stock, J.B., Mouradian, M.M.: a-Synuclein phosphorylation as a therapeutic target in Parkinson’s disease. Rev. Neurosci., 23(2):191-198, 2012.

Braithwaite, S.P., Voronkov, M., Stock, J.B., Mouradian, M.M.: Targeting phosphatases as the next generation of therapeutics for neurodegenerative disorders. Neurochem. Int., 61(6):899-906, 2012.

Im, J.-Y., Lee, K.-W., Woo, J.M., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: DJ-1 induces thioredoxin 1 expression through the Nrf2 pathway. Hum. Mol. Genet. 21(13):3013-3024, 2012.

Lee. K.-W., Im, J.-Y., Woo, J.-M., Grosso, H., Kim, Y.-S., Cristovao, A.C., Sonsalla, P.K., Schuster, D.S., Jalbut, M.M., Fernandez, J.R., Voronkov, M., Junn, E., Braithwaite, S.P., Stock,  J.B., Mouradian, M.M.: Neuroprotective and Anti-inflammatory Properties of a Coffee Component in the MPTP Model of Parkinson’s Disease. Neurotherapeutics, 10:143-153, 2013.

Dias, V., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: The role of oxidative stress in Parkinson’s disease. J. Parkinsons Dis., 3(4):461-491, 2013.

Grosso, H., Woo, J.-M., Lee, K.-W., Im, J.-Y., Masliah, E., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: Transglutaminase 2 exacerbates a-synuclein toxicity in mice and yeast. FASEB J. 28(10: 4280-4291, 2014.

Lee, K.-W., Woo, J.-M., Im, J-Y., Park, E., He, L., Ichijo, H., Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: Apoptosis Signal Regulating Kinase 1 modulates the phenotype of a-synuclein transgenic mice. Neurobiol. Aging. 36(1): 519-526, 2015.

Potts, L.F., Park, E.S., Woo, J.M., Dyavar Shetty, B.L., Singh, A., Braithwaite, S.P., Voronkov, M., Papa, S.M., Mouradian, M.M.: Dual k-agonist / m-antagonist opioid receptor modulation reduces L-dopa induced dyskinesia and corrects dysregulated striatal changes in the non-human primate model of Parkinson’s disease. Ann. Neurol., 77(6):930-941, 2015.