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Jeffrey Macklis received an S.B. in bioelectrical engineering and an S.B. in literature from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and completed his medical training at MIT within the Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program. He conducted graduate and postdoctoral research with Richard Sidman at Harvard Medical School, where he also trained clinically in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and in adult neurology in the Harvard Neurological Training Program. Until he moved his laboratory to Massachusetts General Hospital in 2002 to direct the thematic MGH-HMS Center for Nervous System Repair, Macklis was in the Division of Neuroscience at Children’s Hospital and was codirector of the Parkinson’s Disease and Related Disorders Program at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He assumed his current position in 2007. Macklis is the recipient of a number of awards and honors, including a Director’s Innovation Award from the National Institutes of Health, a CNS Foundation Award and a Cajal-Krieg Cortical Discoverer Prize. He is an Allen Distinguished Investigator of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.
Macklis’ laboratory is directed toward both 1) understanding molecular controls and mechanisms over neuron subtype specification, development, diversity, axon guidance-circuit formation and degeneration in the cerebral cortex and 2) applying developmental controls toward both brain and spinal cord regeneration and directed differentiation for in vitro therapeutic and mechanistic screening. The lab focuses on neocortical projection neuron development and subtype specification; neural progenitor/“stem cell” biology; induction of adult neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons); subtype-specific axonal growth cone biology; and directed neuronal subtype differentiation via molecular manipulation of neural progenitors and pluripotent cells. The same biology informs understanding of neuronal subtype specificity of vulnerability of human neurodegenerative and developmental diseases, in particular ALS/motor neuron disease, HSPs, PLS, Huntington’s disease, autism spectrum disorders, and Rett syndrome and ACC in particular of ASDs.