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George Z. Mentis, PhD

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology (in Neurology)
George Z. Mentis, PhD

George Mentis received& his B.Sc in Physiology and a M.Sc in Neurological Science from University College London (UCL) and& his PhD in Neuroscience from Imperial College London in the UK. He then worked initially as a postdoctoral fellow and subsquently as a staff scientist at NINDS in the NIH in Bethesda Maryland. At the beginning of 2010 he was recruited as an Assistant Professor to the Center of Motor Neuron Biology and Disease in the Dept. of Pathology and& Cell Biology at Columbia University.&

Spinal motor neurons serve as mediators of motor output from the spinal cord and their activity is modulated by a network of spinal neurons, known as the central pattern generator, responsible for the coordinated motor output that comprises locomotion. Locomotion and the spinal network that generates the required patterns of muscle activity is an appealing system for studying how the nervous system produces complex behavior. In our laboratory, we have taken a developmental approach to the study of locomotion in the neonatal mouse. To understand the role of spinal motor neurons in normal motor behavior, we must first depict the local circuitry in which they function. These same functional connections are undoubtedly perturbed in diseased states such as the neurodegenerative motor neuron disorder, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) and must be understood in the context of disease models if function is to be protected or restored. Advances in our understanding of the genetic basis of heritable diseases such as SMA and ALS have also made it possible to model these disorders in mice. We are using these models to elucidate the synaptic, cellular and neuronal circuit pathophysiology in motor neuron disorders using physiological, anatomical, behavioral and optogenetic approaches.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Pathology & Cell Biology

Education & Training

  • PhD, Neuroscience, Imperial College University of London (United Kingdom)

Lab Locations

Honors & Awards

2006 NIH FARE Award (Fellows Award for Research Excellence).

2010 1st Audrey Lewis Young Investigator Award (from Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy - FSMA).

Research Interests

  • Neural Degeneration and Repair
  • Sensory Physiology
  • Synapses and Circuits
  • Motor Systems

NIH Grants

  • RNA-MEDIATED MECHANISMS OF MOTOR SYSTEM DYSFUNCTION IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (Federal Gov)

    Jun 1 2017 - Feb 28 2022

    EXCITATORY SPINAL MICRO-CIRCUIT MECHANISMS INVOLVED IN LOCOMOTOR ACTIVITY (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2016 - Jun 30 2020

    GENERATION OF MICE TO SELECTIVELY MARK A SUBSET OF SPINAL INTERNEURONS (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2017 - Jun 30 2019

    SMN POST-TRANSLATIONAL MODIFICATION IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (Federal Gov)

    May 15 2017 - Apr 30 2019

    THE ROLE OF P38 MAPK ACTIVATION IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (Federal Gov)

    Apr 1 2017 - Mar 31 2019

    MECHANISMS OF CENTRAL SYNAPTIC DYSFUNCTION IN SMA (Federal Gov)

    Apr 1 2012 - Mar 31 2018

    SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY ASSOCIATION PROPOSAL (Private)

    Jan 1 2006 - Mar 31 2018

    GENETIC EVALUATION OF THE P53 CELL DEATH PATHWAY IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (SMA) (Federal Gov)

    Feb 1 2014 - Jan 31 2017

    THE LOSS OF PROPRIOCEPTION AS A MECHANISM UNDERLYING THE SMA PHENOTYPE (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2011 - Sep 30 2016

    TREATMENT POTENTIAL OF SELECTIVE HDAC6 INHIBITORS IN PAINFUL PERIPHERAL NEUROPATHY (Private)

    Jan 1 2016 - Jul 31 2016

    H-REFLEX AS AN ASSAY FOR IMPROVEMENT OF MOTOR OUTCOME IN A MOUSE MODEL OF SMA FOLLOWING IN VIVO TREATMENT WITH THE SMN-C3 COMPOUND (Private)

    Nov 11 2014 - Jun 30 2016

    CELLULAR BASIS OF MOTOR CIRCUIT DYSFUNCTION INDUCED BY SMN DEFICIENCY (Private)

    Jul 1 2014 - Jun 30 2016

    A NOVEL SPINAL CIRCUIT INVOLVED IN LOCOMOTION (Federal Gov)

    Feb 15 2013 - Jan 31 2016

    EVALUATING HMG-COA REDUCTASE AS A THERAPEUTIC TARGET IN ALS (Federal Gov)

    Feb 1 2013 - Jan 31 2015

    MECHANISMS OF SYNAPTIC, CELLULAR AND CIRCUIT DYSFUNCTION INVOLVED IN SMA (Private)

    Oct 1 2013 - Sep 30 2014

    COLUMBIA SMA PROJECT: 4-AP AS A POTENTIAL SMA THERAPEUTIC AGENT AND BIOLOGICAL MECHANISMS OF ACTION (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2011 - Aug 31 2014

    ROLE OF STASIMON DYSFUNCTION IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (Federal Gov)

    Feb 1 2012 - Jan 31 2014

    SMA AS A PROGRESSIVE SYNAPTIC DISEASE (Private)

    Sep 1 2010 - Dec 31 2012

Publications

Publications List