Michael P Hart, PhD

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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.
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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

Fusun Doldur-Balli, Toshihiro Imamura, Olivia J Veatch, Naihua N Gong, Diane C Lim, Michael P Hart, Ted Abel, Matthew S Kayser, Edward S Brodkin, Allan I Pack : Synaptic dysfunction connects autism spectrum disorder and sleep disturbances: A perspective from studies in model organisms Sleep Med Rev 2022.

Hart M, Hobert O: A missense mutation separates distinct functions of the Zic-family transcription factor REF-2. MicroPubl Biol 2020.

Michael P. Hart: Stress-Induced Neuron Remodeling Reveals Differential Interplay Between Neurexin and Environmental Factors in Caenorhabditis elegans. Genetics 213(4): 1415-1430, Dec 2019.

Hart, M. P., Hobert, O.: Neurexin controls plasticity of a mature, sexually dimorphic neuron. Nature 553(7687): 165-170, 2018.

Kerk, S. Y., Kratsios, P., Hart, M., Mourao, R., Hobert, O.: Diversification of C. elegans Motor Neuron Identity via Selective Effector Gene Repression. Neuron 93(1): 80-98, 2017.

Hart, M. P., Hobert, O.: Sexual Dimorphism: Mystery Neurons Control Sex-Specific Behavioral Plasticity. Curr Biol 25(24): R1170-2, 2015.

Coyne, A. N., Yamada, S. B., Siddegowda, B. B., Estes, P. S., Zaepfel, B. L., Johannesmeyer, J. S., Lockwood, D. B., Pham, L. T., Hart, M. P., Cassel, J. A., Freibaum, B., Boehringer, A. V., Taylor, J. P., Reitz, A. B., Gitler, A. D., Zarnescu, D. C.: Fragile X protein mitigates TDP-43 toxicity by remodeling RNA granules and restoring translation. Hum Mol Genet 24(24): 6886-98, 2015.

Hart, M. P., Gitler, A. D.: ALS-associated ataxin 2 polyQ expansions enhance stress-induced caspase 3 activation and increase TDP-43 pathological modifications. J Neurosci 32(27): 9133-42, 2012.

Hart, M. P., Brettschneider, J., Lee, V. M., Trojanowski, J. Q., Gitler, A. D.: Distinct TDP-43 pathology in ALS patients with ataxin 2 intermediate-length polyQ expansions. Acta Neuropathol 124(2): 221-30, 2012.

Couthouis, J., Hart, M. P., Erion, R., King, O. D., Diaz, Z., Nakaya, T., Ibrahim, F., Kim, H. J., Mojsilovic-Petrovic, J., Panossian, S., Kim, C. E., Frackelton, E. C., Solski, J. A., Williams, K. L., Clay-Falcone, D., Elman, L., McCluskey, L., Greene, R., Hakonarson, H., Kalb, R. G., Lee, V. M., Trojanowski, J. Q., Nicholson, G. A., Blair, I. P., Bonini, N. M., Van Deerlin, V. M., Mourelatos, Z., Shorter, J., Gitler, A. D.: Evaluating the role of the FUS/TLS-related gene EWSR1 in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Hum Mol Genet 21(13): 2899-911, 2012.

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Last updated: 01/09/2023
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