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Ted M. Dawson

Samuel R. Denmeade

Department Affiliation: Primary: Neurology; Secondary: Pharmacology and Neuroscience
Degree: M.D., Ph.D., University of Utah School of Medicine
Rank: Professor

Director, Institute for Cell Engineering
Director, Morris K. Udall Parkinson's Disease Research Center

Telephone Number: 410-614-3359
Fax Number: 410-614-9568
E-mail address:
School of Medicine Address: Miller Research Building, Suite 731,
733 N. Broadway, Baltimore, MD 21205


Molecular and Cellular Signals Controlling Neurodegeneration, Neuronal Survival and Cell Death

The Dawson lab studies molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration of Parkinson’s disease, nitric oxide signaling and neuronal cell death and neuroprotective and neurorestorative strategies in neurodegenerative diseases, stroke and trauma. 

Parkinson’s disease is a common neurodegenerative disorder and the Dawson lab is studying the genetic basis of PD by investigating the mechanisms by which mutations in familial-linked genes cause PD, with hopes of identifying potential therapeutic targets for developing PD treatments. Current projects include the study of alpha-synuclein, LRRK2, parkin and PINK1.

Nitric oxide is a major player in neuronal cell death and the Dawson team has discovered parthanatos, a caspase-independent programmed cell death pathway involving apoptosis inducing factor (AIF) downstream of NO and its major target poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP). The team now is further characterizing that pathway to identify targets of AIF and the roles of other cell death effectors with the hope of identifying new signaling pathways that might be amenable to therapeutic intervention. In addition they are investigating the role of poly (ADP-ribose) as signaling molecule.


Representative Publications:

  • Shin, J.-H., Ko, H.S., Kang, H.C., Lee, Y., Lee, Y.-I., Pletinkova, O., Troncoso, J.C., V.L. Dawson, V.L., Dawson, T.M. PARIS (ZNF746) Repression of PGC-1α Contributes to Neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s Disease. Cell 2011; 144:689-702. (Featured Article).  Pub Med Reference
  • Wang, Y., Kim, N.S., Haince, J.-F., Kang, H.C., David, K.K., Andrabi, S., Poirier, G.G., Dawson, V.L., Dawson, T.M. Poly(ADP-ribose) (PAR) Binding to Apoptosis-Inducing Factor Is Critical For PAR Polymerase-1-Dependent Cell Death (Parthanatos). Science Signaling 2011; 4:167. (Cover Article).  Pub Med Reference
  • Zhang. J., Wang, Y., Chi, Z., Pai, Y.-M.E., Byugyenko, A., Wang, H., Xiong, Y., Pletnikov, M.V., Mattson, M.P., Dawson, T.M., Dawson, V.L.. Thorase, A Novel AAA+ ATPase, Regulates AMPA Receptor-Dependent Synaptic Plasticity and Behavior. Cell 2011; 145:284-299.  (Cover Article) Pub Med Reference

  • Andrabi, S.A., Kang, H.C., Haince, J.-F., Lee, Y.-I., Zhang, J., Chi, Z., West, A.B., Koehler, R.C., Poirier, G.G., Dawson, T.M., Dawson, V.L.  Iduna Protects the Brain from Glutamate Excititoxicity and Stroke by Interfering with poly(ADP-ribose) polymer-induced Cell Death. Nature Medicine 2011; 17:692-699. Pub Med Reference

  • Kang, H.C., Lee, Y.-I. , Shin, J.-H., Andrabi, S., Chi, Z., Gagne, J.-P., Lee, Y., Ko, H.S., Lee, B.D., Poirier, G.G., Dawson, V.L., Dawson, T.M.  Iduna is a Poly (ADP-Ribose) (PAR)-Dependent E3 Ubiquitin Ligase that Regulates DNA Damage.  Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011; 108:14103-14108.  Pub Med Reference

  • Chi, Z., Zhang, J., Tokunaga, A., Dolinko, A., Blackshaw, S., Gaiano, N., Dawson, T.M., Dawson, V.L. Botch Promotes Neurogenesis by Antagonizing Notch. Development. Cell 2012; 22:707-720. Pub Med Reference

  • Lee, Y., Karuppagounder, S.S., Shin, J.-H., Lee, Y.-I., Ko, H.S., Swing, D., Lee, B.D., Kang, H.C., Tessarollo, L., V.L. Dawson, V.L., Dawson, T.M. Parthanatos Mediates AIMP2 Activated Age Dependent Dopaminergic Neuronal Loss. Nature Neuroscience 2013; 16:1392-1400. Pub Med Reference


Other graduate programs in which Dr. Dawson participates:


Cellular and Molecular Medicine