Research Abstract

The chief goal of research in the Bonni laboratory is to identify the principles and mechanisms that govern the assembly and function of neural circuits in the mammalian brain and to determine how these mechanisms are deregulated in neurological diseases including intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders.

The Bonni laboratory has discovered fundamental epigenetic, transcriptional, and ubiquitin-signaling networks that control distinct aspects of neuronal connectivity in the mammalian brain. A diverse set of tools and approaches from biochemistry, molecular biology, genetics, imaging electrophysiology, and behavior analyses are deployed to the study of circuit assembly and function in the mammalian brain with a special focus on the mouse and rat cerebellum.

The Bonni laboratory will continue to advance the field of neural circuit assembly and function including using new tools of in vivo imaging and optogenetics. In addition, the Bonni group is pursuing new lines of inquiry aimed at elucidating the neurobiological basis of neurological diseases including intellectual disability and autism spectrum disorders. Ultimately, these studies will lay the foundation for the development of new therapeutic approaches in the treatment of these disorders.

Selected Publications

  • Yang Y, Yamada T, Hill KK, Hemberg M, Reddy NC, Cho HY, Guthrie AN, Oldenborg A, Heiney SA, Ohmae S, Medina JF, Holy TE, Bonni A. Chromatin remodeling inactivates activity genes and regulates neural coding. Science. 2016;353(6296):300-5. PMCID: PMC4993111.
  • Yamada T, Yang Y, Hemberg M, Yoshida T, Cho HY, Murphy JP, Fioravante D, Regehr WG, Gygi SP, Georgopoulos K, Bonni A. Promoter decommissioning by the NuRD chromatin remodeling complex triggers synaptic connectivity in the mammalian brain. Neuron. 2014;83(1):122-34. PMCID: PMC4266462.
  • Gallardo G, Barowski J, Ravits J, Siddique T, Lingrel JB, Robertson J, Steen H, Bonni A. An alpha2-Na/K ATPase/alpha-adducin complex in astrocytes triggers non-cell autonomous neurodegeneration. Nat Neurosci. 2014;17(12):1710-9.
  • Zhang C, Mejia LA, Huang J, Valnegri P, Bennett EJ, Anckar J, Jahani-Asl A, Gallardo G, Ikeuchi Y, Yamada T, Rudnicki M, Harper JW, Bonni A. The X-linked intellectual disability protein PHF6 associates with the PAF1 complex and regulates neuronal migration in the mammalian brain. Neuron. 2013;78(6):986-93. PMCID: PMC3694281.
  • Yang Y, Kim AH, Yamada T, Wu B, Bilimoria PM, Ikeuchi Y, de la Iglesia N, Shen J, Bonni A. A Cdc20-APC ubiquitin signaling pathway regulates presynaptic differentiation. Science. 2009;326(5952):575-8. PMCID: PMC2846784.
  • Kim AH, Puram SV, Bilimoria PM, Ikeuchi Y, Keough S, Wong M, Rowitch D, Bonni A. A centrosomal Cdc20-APC pathway controls dendrite morphogenesis in postmitotic neurons. Cell. 2009;136(2):322-36. PMCID: PMC2707082.

For a complete list of Dr. Bonni's publications, click here.

Azad Bonni, MD, PhD

Adjunct Professor of Neuroscience

Washington University
School of Medicine
Campus Box 8108
St. Louis, MO 63110

Other Information

1986 MD, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada

1996 PhD, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Selected Honors
2000 Robert H. Ebert Clinical Scholar Award from the Esther A. and Joseph Klingenstein Fund

2001 EJLB Foundation Award

2001 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Award

2001 Sidney Kimmel Scholar Award

2001 Carolyn and Peter Lynch Endowed Research Fund Award

2003 Hellman Award

2007 Genzyme Outstanding Achievement in Biomedical Science Award

2012 Keynote Speaker, Washington University Neuroscience Retreat

2017 AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Science) Fellow

2017 Royal Society of Canada (RSC) Fellow

2018 Mayent-Rothschild / Institut Curie Award

2018 National Academy of Medicine (NAM) Member