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M. Maral Mouradian, M.D Email:


M. Maral Mouradian, M.D., is the William Dow Lovett Professor of Neurology and Director of the Center for Neurodegenerative and Neuroimmunologic Diseases at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey – Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in Piscataway, New Jersey, USA. She also holds joint professorships in the Department of Neuroscience and Cell Biology and in the Department of Molecular Genetics, Microbiology and Immunology 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’s 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.

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. Dr. Mouradian is an elected member of the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society and the American Neurological Association. She is an Associate Editor of the journal Pharmacology and Therapeutics, serves on the editorial boards of several other scientific journals, and is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of the American Parkinson Disease Association. To date, she has authored 195 scholarly publications and edited two books on PD. Her research is funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. Among her honors are the Roger Duvoisin Research Scholar Award from the American Parkinson Disease Association, the Dean’s Research Award from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and the NIH Award of Merit.

Selected publications in the past ten years:

  • Junn, E., Lee, S.S., Suhr, U.T., Mouradian, M.M.: Parkin accumulation in aggresomes due to proteasome impairment. J. Biol. Chem., 277:47870-47877, 2002.

  • D’Souza, U.M., Lammers, C.-H., Hwang, C.-K., Yajima, S., Mouradian, M.M.: Developmental expression of a novel zinc finger transcription factor DRRF (Dopamine Receptor Regulating Factor). Mech. Dev. 110(1-2):197-201, 2002.

  • Lee, G., Junn, E., Tanaka, M., Kim, Y.M., Lee, S.S., Mouradian, M.M.: Synphilin-1 degradation by the ubiquitin- proteasome pathway and effects on cell survival. J. Neurochem., 83:346-352, 2002.

  • Junn, E., Mouradian, M.M.: Human a-synuclein over-expression increases intracellular reactive oxygen species levels and susceptibility to dopamine. Neurosci. Lett., 320:146-150, 2002.

  • Dunah, A.W., Jeong, H., Griffin, A., Kim, Y.-M., Hersch, S.M., Mouradian, M.M., Young, A.B., Tanese, N., Krainc, D.: Sp1 and TAFII130 transcriptional activity disrupted in early Huntington’s disease. Science, 296:2238-2243, 2002.

  • Mouradian, M.M.: Recent advances in the genetics and pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease. Neurology, 58:179-185, 2002.

  • Lee, S.H., Kim. Y.M., Yajima, S., Ha, J.M., Ha, B.J., Kim. O.S., Ohsawa, K., Mouradian, M.M.: Genomic organization and promoter characterization of the murine dopamine receptor regulating factor (DRRF) gene. Gene, 304(1-2):193-199, 2003.

  • Junn, E., Ronchetti, R.D., Quezado, M.M., Kim, S.-Y., Mouradian, M.M.: Tissue transglutaminase-induced aggregation of a-synuclein: Implications for Lewy body formation in Parkinson’s disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 100(4):2047-2052, 2003.

  • Lee, S.S., Kim, Y.M., Junn, E., Lee, G., Park, K.-H., Tanaka, M., Ronchetti, R.D., Quezado, M., Mouradian, M.M.: Cell cycle aberrations by a-synuclein over-expression and cyclin B immunoreactivity in Lewy bodies. Neurobiol. Aging, 24(5):687-696, 2003.

  • Blanchet, P.J., Konitsiotis, S., Mochizuki H., Pluta, R., Emerich, D.F., Chase, T.N., Mouradian, M.M.: Complications of a trophic xenotransplant approach in parkinsonian monkeys. Prog. Neuropsychopharmacol. Biol. Psychiatry, 27(4):607-612, 2003.

  • Makar, T.K., Trisler, D., Eglitis, M.A., Mouradian, M.M., Dhib-Jalbut, S.: Brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) gene delivery into the CNS using bone marrow cells as vehicles. Neurosci. Lett. 356:215-219, 2004.

  • Tanaka, M., Kim, Y.M., Lee, G., Junn, E., Iwatsubo, T., Mouradian, M.M.: Aggresomes formed by a-synuclein and synphilin-1 are cytoprotective. J. Biol. Chem., 279(6):4625-4631, 2004.

  • Lee, G., Tanaka, M., Park, K., Lee, S.S., Kim, Y.M., Junn, E., Lee, S.H., Mouradian, M.M.: Casein kinase II mediated phosphorylation regulates a-synuclein / synphilin-1 interaction and inclusion body formation. J. Biol. Chem., 279(8):6834-6839, 2004.

  • Dhib-Jalbut, S., Mouradian, M.M.: Delivery of transgenically modified adult bone marrow cells to the rodent central nervous system. Expert Opin. Biol. Th., 4(5):669-675, 2004.

  • Mouradian, M.M.: Should levodopa be infused into the duodenum? Neurology, 64(2):182-183, 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.

  • Mochizuki, H., Yasuda, T., Mouradian, M.M.: Advances in gene therapy for movement disorders. Neurotherapeutics, 5(2):260-269, 2008.

  • Lee. S.H., Jang, M.K., Lee, O.H., Ok Soo Kim, Kim, Y.-M., Yajima, S., Lee, Y.-C., Mouradian, M.M.: Transcriptional auto-regulation of the dopamine receptor regulating factor (DRRF) gene. Mol. Cell. Endocrinol. 289:23-28, 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.

  • Lee, S.H., Jang, M.K., Kim, O.S., Lee, O.H., Kim, N.Y., Yoo, K.H., Lee, D.G., Shong, Y.H., Mouradian, M.M.: Activation of the GDNF-Inducible Transcription Factor (GIF) Gene Promoter by Glucocorticoid and Progesterone. J. Steroid Biochem. Mol. Biol., 115(1-2):30-35, 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 DeltaFosB reproduces chronic levodopa-induced involuntary movements. J. Neurosci., 30(21):7335-7343, 2010.

  • Oh, Y., Kim, Y.M., Mouradian, M.M., Chung, K.C.: Human Polycomb protein 2 promotes a-synuclein aggregate formation through covalent SUMOylation. Brain Res., 1381:78-89, 2011.

  • 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.

  • 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. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0029935, 2012.

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

  • Grosso, H., Mouradian, M.M.: Transglutaminase 2: Biology, relevance to neurodegenerative diseases and therapeutic implications. Pharmacol. Therap., 133(3):392-410, 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., Epub ahead of print, February 8, 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. 2012; doi: 10.1093/hmg/dds131.