Mengsheng Qiu, Ph.D.

Professor and Distinguished Scholar

Department of Anatomical Sciences & Neurobiology


The long-term goal of our research is to understand the molecular and genetic mechanisms that control the differentiation and regeneration of motor neurons and oligodendrocytes, and develop novel molecular strategies for stimulating the de novo regeneration of motor neurons and oligodendrocytes in the injured spinal cord.  Research projects include: (1) Identify the molecular pathways that regulate the early specification and differentiation of motor neurons and oligodendrocytes.  (2) Characterize the function of several Nkx homeobox genes that are specifically expressed in the motor neuron and oligodendrocyte precursor cells.  (3) Isolate and characterize the proteins that interact with two new motor neuron-specific homeobox genes.  (4) Trace the cell fates of distinct populations of neuroepithelial cells in the developing spinal cord through the Cre-loxP transgenic method.

Representative Publications

Park,J, Liu B, Chen T, Li H, Hu, X, Gao J, Zhu Y, Zhu Q, Qiang B, Yuan J, Peng X and Qiu M. (2008). Disruption of Necl-1 cell adhesion molecule leads to delayed axonal myelination in the developing nervous system. J. Neurosci. 28, 12815-12819.

Liu Z, Li H, Hu X, Yu L, Liu H, Colella R, Mower G , Chen Y, and Qiu M. (2008). Control of precerebellar neuron development by Olig3 bHLH transcription factor. J. Neurosci. 28, 10124-33.

Liu Z, Hu X, Cai J, Liu B, Peng X, Wegner M, and Qiu M. (2007). Induction of oligodendrocyte differentiation by Olig2 and Sox10: evidence for reciprocal interactions and dosage-dependent mechanisms. Dev. Biol. 302, 683-693.

Cai, J., Qi, Y., Hu, X., Tan, M., Liu, Z., Zhang J., Li, Q., Sander, M. and Qiu M. (2005). Generation of oligodendrocyte precursor cells from mouse dorsal spinal cord independent of Nkx6-regulation and Shh signaling. Neuron, 45:41-53 (covered by a preview).

Liu, R., Cai, J., Hu, X., Qi, Y., Tan, M., Sander, M., and Qiu, M. (2003). Region-specific and stage-dependent regulation of Olig gene expression and oligodendrogenesis by Nkx6.1 homeodomain transcription factor. Development, 130:6221-6231.

Fu H., Qi Y., Tan, M., Cia J., Hirohide T., Nakafuku M., Richardson W., Qiu M. (2002) Dual origin of spinal oligodendrocyte progenitors and evidence for the cooperative role of Olig2 and Nkx2.2 in the control of oligodendrocyte differentiation.  Development, 129:681-693.

Qi, Y., Stapp, D. and Qiu, M. (2002). Origin and molecular specification of oligodendrocytes in the telencephalon. Trends in Neuroscience, 25:223-225.

Qi Y., Cai J., Wu Y., Lee J., Wu R., Sussel L., Rao M., Rubenstein J., Qiu M. (2001) “Control of oligodendrocyte differentiation by the Nkx-2.2 homeodomain transcription factor.”  Development, 128:2723-2733.

Cai J., Qi Y., Wu R., Liu R., Modderman G., Qiu M. (2001) “Mutation lacking the Nkx-6.2 homeodomain transcription factor develop and reproduce normally.”   Mol. Cell. Biol. 21:4399-4403.