Research Abstract

Permanent disabilities following central nervous system (CNS) injuries result from the failure of injured axons to regenerate and re-build functional connections. The poor regenerative capacity of mature CNS neurons remains a major problem in neurobiology and an unmet medical need. In contrast, axon regeneration and partial functional recovery do occur in injured peripheral nerves, providing an opportunity to identify molecular mechanisms that control the axon regeneration program... read more

Selected Publications

  • Ewan EE, Carlin D, Goncalves TM, Zhao G, Cavalli V. (2020). bioRxiv. Ascending dorsal column sensory neurons respond to spinal cord injury and downregulate genes related to lipid metabolism.
  • Avraham O, Deng PY, Jones A, Kuruvilla R, Semenkovich CF, Klyachko VA and Cavalli V. (2019) BiorXiv. Satellite glial cell promotes regenerative growth in sensory neurons.
  • Carlin D, Halevi A, Ewan EE, Moore A and Cavalli V. (2019). Nociceptor deletion of Tsc2 enhances axon regeneration by inducing a conditioning injury response in dorsal root ganglia. eNeuro, Jun 25;6(3). pii: ENEURO.0168-19.2019.
  • Pita Thomas W, Mahar M, Joshi A, Gan D, and Cavalli V. (2019). HDAC5 Promotes Optic Nerve Regeneration in Retinal Ganglion Cells. Exp. Neurology, 317:271-283.
  • Mahar M, Cavalli V. (2018). Intrinsic mechanisms of neuronal axon regeneration. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2018 19(6):323-337.
  • Oh YM, and Mahar M, Ewan E, Leahy K, Zhao G, and Cavalli V. (2018). Epigenetic regulator UHRF1 inactivates REST and growth suppressor gene expression via DNA methylation to promote axon regeneration. PNAS 115(52):E12417-E12426
  • Cho Y, Shin JE, Ewan EE, Oh YM, Pita-Thomas W and Cavalli V. (2015) Activating injury-responsive genes with hypoxia enhances axon regeneration through neuronal HIF-1α. Neuron. 18:720-34
  • Cho Y, Park D and Cavalli V. (2015) Filamin A is required in injured axons for HDAC5 activity and axon regeneration. J. Biol. Chem. 290(37):22759-70.
  • Watt D, Dixit R and Cavalli V. (2015) JIP3 activates kinesin-1 motility to promote axon elongation. J. Biol. Chem. 290(25):15512-25.
  • Song W, Cho Y, Watt D and Cavalli, V. (2015) Tubulin-tyrosine ligase (TTL)-mediated increase in tyrosinated α-tubulin in injured axons is required for retrograde injury signaling and axon regeneration. J Biol Chem. 290(23):14765-75.
  • Cho Y and Cavalli V. (2014) HDAC signaling in neuronal development and regeneration. Curr Opin Neurobiol. 27: 188-126.
  • Cho Y, Sloutsky R, Naegle KM and Cavalli V. (2013). Injury-induced HDAC5 nuclear export is essential for axon regeneration. Cell. 155, 894-908. Selected by Faculty of 1000. Highlighted article: Editor’s Choice Science Signaling, Nature Reviews in Neuroscience, The Scientist.
  • Shin JE, Cho Y, Beirowski B, Milbrandt J, Cavalli V and DiAntonio A. (2012) Dual leucine zipper kinase is required for retrograde injury signaling and axonal regeneration. Neuron, 74: 1015-1022. Highlighted article: Nix P and Bastiani M (2012) Neuron. 74(6), 961-963.

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

Valeria Cavalli, PhD

Professor of Neuroscience

Washington University
School of Medicine
Campus Box 8108
McDonnell Medical Sciences, 927
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 362-3540


Cavalli Lab

Other Information

1987-1992 BS and Master in Biochemistry, University of Geneva Switzerland

1991-1994 Predoctoral Research Student, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Rome “La Sapienza” Italy.Advisor Prof. M. Brunori,

1994-1995 Predoctoral Research Student, Department of Pharmacology, Biozentrum, Basel, Switzerland. Advisor Prof. M.A Ruegg

1995-2000 PhD Student, Department of Biochemistry, University of Geneva, Switzerland. Thesis advisor Prof. J. Gruenberg,

Selected Honors
1991 Marc Birkigt Foundation, Geneva, Switzerland, Master Thesis Research Fellowship

1992 Pharmacia – Farmitalia Carlo Erba, Italy, Research Fellowship

1993 Cenci Bolognetti Foundation – Pasteur Institute, Rome, Italy – Research Fellowship

2001 Swiss National Science Foundation - Postdoctoral Fellowship

2002 Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation – Postdoctoral Fellowship

2003 International Campaign for Cures of Spinal Cord Injury Paralysis – Outstanding Young Investigator Award

2004 CMM Department Retreat, UCSD – Excellence award for outstanding accomplishment in research

2005 Keystone Symposia Scholarship

2014 Distinguished Investigator Award, Washington University School of Medicine