Michael P Hart, PhD

faculty photo
Assistant Professor of Genetics
Principle Investigator, Autism Program of Excellence, Perelman School of Medicine, Department of Genetics
Member, Center of Excellence in Environmental Toxicology, Perelman School of Medicine
Department: Genetics
Graduate Group Affiliations

Contact information
Clinical Research Building
Office: CRB 452A
Lab: CRB 450
415 Curie Boulevard
Philadelphia, PA 19104
B.s. (Neuroscience)
St. Lawrence University, 2006.
Ph.D. (Neuroscience)
University of Pennsylvania, 2012.
Permanent link
> Perelman School of Medicine   > Faculty   > Details

Description of Research Expertise

Research Interests:
Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neuronal circuit formation and plasticity, including, a) how neuronal circuits are wired through synaptic connections between neurons, b) how synaptic connections within circuits are modified, and c) how these modifications impact behavior. Also to understand the circuit associated functions of genes associated with neurodevelopmental and neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism and schizophrenia.

Research Techniques:
Using C. elegans as a primary model system for testing the impact of genes on neurons, synapses, circuits, and behavior. C. elegans serves as a powerful model for gene discovery, variant testing, and screening for modifiers (both genetic and small molecule).

Key words:
Genetics, Cell and Molecular Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Disease, Developmental Neuroscience, schizophrenia, autism, neurodevelopmental disorders, neuropsychiatric disorders, Neurobiology of stress, Synaptic plasticity, synaptogenesis and circuit formation, circuit plasticity

Selected Publications

Govek KW, Nicodemus P, Lin Y, Crawford J, Saturnino AB, Cui H, Zoga K, Hart MP, Camara PG.: CAJAL enables analysis and integration of single-cell morphological data using metric geometry. Nat Commun 14: 3672, Jun 2023.

Cowen MC, Raizen DM, Hart MP: Structural neuroplasticity after sleep loss modifies behavior and requires neurexin and neuroligin. BioRxiv(545788), June 2023.

Haskell D, Cowen M, Hart M: Functional and behavioral impacts of human NRXN1 variants identified through expression in C. elegans neurons. International C. elegans Conference. Genetics Society of America,(737A), 2023 Notes: poster presentation.

Bastien BL, Hart MP: A tale of two SAMs: nrx-1 and nlr-1 function in monoamine neurons to modulate foraging activity. International C. elegans Conference. Genetics Society of America,(937C), 2023 Notes: poster presentation.

Cowen MH, Reddy K, Chalasani S, Hart MP: Glutamate and nrx-1 dependent synaptic changes in an aversive sensory neuron are required for npr-1 aggregation behavior International C. elegans Conference. Genetics Society of America,(954C), 2023 Notes: poster presentation.

Villiere SM, Zoga K, Hart MP: Investigating roles for axon guidance and regeneration genes in GABAergic plasticity in C. elegans International C. elegans Conference. Genetics Society of America,(882B), 2023 Notes: poster presentation.

Haury W, Kalik R, Bastien BL, Hart MP : C. elegans behavioral screen identifies nrx-1 allele-specific small molecule modifiers. International C. elegans Conference. Genetics Society of America,(781A), 2023 Notes: poster presentation.

Doldur-Balli F, Imamura T, Veatch OJ, Gong NN, Lim DC, Hart MP, Abel T, Kayser MS, Brodkin ES, Pack AI.: Synaptic dysfunction connects autism spectrum disorder and sleep disturbances: A perspective from studies in model organisms. Sleep Med Rev 2022.

Cowen MH, Reddy K, Chalasani S, Hart MP: Multisensory integration and aggregation behavior depend on NRX-1 and glutamatergic signaling. CeNeuro Conference 2022 Notes: Podium Presentation.

Bastien BL, Hart MP: Neurexin isoforms and other synaptic adhesion molecules cooperate to initiate and maintain foraging activity. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory - Molecular Mechanisms of Neuronal Connectivity. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, 2022 Notes: poster presentation.

back to top
Last updated: 08/21/2023
The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania