Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University

Iacovitti, Lorraine

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Lorraine Iacovitti, PhD

Lorraine Iacovitti, PhD

Contact Dr.  Iacovitti

233 South 10th Street
BLSB, 322
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 955-8118
(215) 955-2993 fax


Post-Doctoral, Washington University-St. Louis, (Anatomy & Neurobiology) - 1981
PhD, Cornell University Medical College, (Neurobiology) - 1979
BS, Monmouth College, (Biology) - 1973

Research and Clinical Interests

Neurodegenerative Diseases, Stem Cells, Parkinson's Disease

Research in my laboratory is aimed at understanding how neurons differentiate into dopamine neurons during development of the brain and how that information may be useful for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. A major goal of our studies has been defining the key fate determinant genes and lineage stages in the development of human dopamine neurons. Our hope is that an understanding of those mechanisms that first direct expression of neurotransmitter genes during differentiation will provide a molecular blueprint that can be used to intentionally target the differentiation of cells, such as human embryonic stem or precursor cells, toward that phenotype. Using an approach that combines cell culture and genetic engineering, our aim is to induce dopaminergic traits in human stem/progenitor cells and devise ways to amplify and purify prospective human dopamine neurons for study after transplantation into rat and monkey models of Parkinson's disease.

In our laboratory, we use a multidisciplinary approach, employing tissue culture (primary and cell lines), molecular (qPCR, microarray, gene cloning, transfection, transduction), anatomical (immunocytochemistry, confocal) biochemical (HPLC), surgical (stereotaxic brain surgery, arterial occlusion), imaging (PET, spect) and behavioral (sensory and motor skills tests).

The overall goal of our studies is take what we have learned about the differentiation of dopamine neurons from human stem cells and translate that into a cell replacement treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Go to Dr. Iacovitti's Jefferson Stem Cell & Regenerative Neuroscience Center.


Most Recent Peer-Reviewed Publications

  1. The versatility of RhoA activities in neural differentiation
  2. Systemic Factors Trigger Vasculature Cells to Drive Notch Signaling and Neurogenesis in Neural Stem Cells in the Adult Brain
  3. Differential response in novel stem cell niches of the brain after cervical spinal cord injury and traumatic brain injury
  4. Stepwise impairment of neural stem cell proliferation and neurogenesis concomitant with disruption of blood-brain barrier in recurrent ischemic stroke
  5. Regional microglia are transcriptionally distinct but similarly exacerbate neurodegeneration in a culture model of Parkinson's disease
  6. Robust kinase- and age-dependent dopaminergic and norepinephrine neurodegeneration in LRRK2 G2019S transgenic mice
  7. Delayed Accumulation of H3K27me3 on Nascent DNA Is Essential for Recruitment of Transcription Factors at Early Stages of Stem Cell Differentiation
  8. Structure of Nascent Chromatin Is Essential for Hematopoietic Lineage Specification
  9. Fumarate modulates the immune/inflammatory response and rescues nerve cells and neurological function after stroke in rats
  10. Cell-to-Cell Transmission of Dipeptide Repeat Proteins Linked to C9orf72-ALS/FTD
  11. N-Acetyl cysteine may support dopamine neurons in Parkinson's disease: Preliminary clinical and cell line data
  12. Neuroprotection: Basic mechanisms and translational potential
  13. Classic and novel stem cell niches in brain homeostasis and repair
  14. Neurogenesis is enhanced by stroke in multiple new stem cell niches along the ventricular system at sites of high BBB permeability
  15. A stem cell-derived platform for studying single synaptic vesicles in dopaminergic synapses
  16. Stem cell therapy for glaucoma: Science or snake oil?
  17. The hTH-GFP reporter rat model for the study of Parkinson's disease
  18. Evolutionary conservation of an atypical glucocorticoid-responsive element in the human tyrosine hydroxylase gene
  19. BMP and TGF-Β pathway mediators are critical upstream regulators of Wnt signaling during midbrain dopamine differentiation in human pluripotent stem cells
  20. Tracking Transplanted Bone Marrow Stem Cells and Their Effects in the Rat MCAO Stroke Model