Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center


Levine, Michael S., Ph.D.


The mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction in the basal ganglia and cortex in neurodegenerative disorders


  • Chair, Interdepartmental Undergraduate Program
  • Professor, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences
  • Professor in Residence, Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
  • Member, Center for Developmental Neurobiology (IDDRC)
  • Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Studies
  • Neuroengineering Training Program
  • Neuroscience GPB Home Area


Our primary research interests are directed toward understanding the mechanisms underlying neuronal dysfunction in the basal ganglia and cortex in neurodegenerative disorders. The research consists of a multidisciplinary approach combining neurophysiological, morphological and molecular techniques. This research has evolved into several major projects:

  • Examining the physiological changes in mutant mouse models of Huntington’s disease;
  • Assessment of neuromodulation in the striatum as it pertains to Parkinson’s disease and assessment of new genetic mouse models of Parkinson’s disease;
  • Examining cellular cortical electrophysiological and morphological abnormalities occurring in children suffering from intractable pediatric epilepsy.


  1. Frese, AN, Mariossi, A, Levine, MS, Wühr, M. Quantitative proteome dynamics across embryogenesis in a model chordate. iScience. 2024;27 (4):109355. doi: 10.1016/j.isci.2024.109355. PubMed PMID:38510129 PubMed Central PMC10951915.
  2. Long, J, Mariossi, A, Cao, C, Mo, Z, Thompson, JW, Levine, MS et al.. Cereblon influences the timing of muscle differentiation in Ciona tadpoles. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2023;120 (43):e2309989120. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2309989120. PubMed PMID:37856545 PubMed Central PMC10614628.
  3. Holley, SM, Reidling, JC, Cepeda, C, Wu, J, Lim, RG, Lau, A et al.. Transplanted human neural stem cells rescue phenotypes in zQ175 Huntington's disease mice and innervate the striatum. Mol Ther. 2023;31 (12):3545-3563. doi: 10.1016/j.ymthe.2023.10.003. PubMed PMID:37807512 PubMed Central PMC10727970.
  4. Mohana, G, Dorier, J, Li, X, Mouginot, M, Smith, RC, Malek, H et al.. Chromosome-level organization of the regulatory genome in the Drosophila nervous system. Cell. 2023;186 (18):3826-3844.e26. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2023.07.008. PubMed PMID:37536338 PubMed Central PMC10529364.
  5. Li, M, Kim, J, Rha, H, Son, S, Levine, MS, Xu, Y et al.. Photon-Controlled Pyroptosis Activation (PhotoPyro): An Emerging Trigger for Antitumor Immune Response. J Am Chem Soc. 2023;145 (11):6007-6023. doi: 10.1021/jacs.3c01231. PubMed PMID:36881923 .
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