Staff Collaborate Conference Room
Cell Biology, Neurobiology and Anatomy (CBNA)

Allison D. Ebert, PhD

Associate Professor; Director, Neuroscience Doctoral Program


  • Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy

Contact Information


PhD, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, 2005
BS, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 1999

Research Areas of Interest

  • Alzheimer Disease
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Astrocytes
  • Cell Survival
  • Cytomegalovirus
  • Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
  • Microglia
  • Motor Neurons
  • Muscular Atrophy, Spinal
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases
  • Organoids
  • Stem Cell Transplantation

Research Interests

Therapeutic uses of stem cells and disease modeling for spinal muscular atrophy, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and muscular dystrophy

neurons differentiated from human embryonic stem cellsMy research interests are in the area of neurodegenerative diseases, both understanding the molecular basis for the disease progression and finding effective experimental therapies. My current research focuses on using induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from patient tissue to understand disease mechanisms and therapeutic intervention. One project in my lab is investigating the cell death processes involved in motor neuron loss in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). We are using iPSCs derived from SMA patients to generate motor neurons and astrocytes to determine how the motor neurons are. My lab has found that astrocytes are dysfunctional in SMA, so we are investigating the mechanisms by which they contribute to disease pathology including alterations in secreted proteins and microRNAs. My lab also uses gene therapy and cell transplantation as potential therapeutic strategies for SMA. The second project is investigating the mechanisms underlying motor neuron loss in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). We are using patient-specific iPSCs to assess protein aggregation in common and rare genetic forms of ALS. We incorporate gene editing techniques to create specific iPSCs for differentiation into motor neurons, astrocytes, and skeletal muscle. The third project is evaluating the effect of the G2019S LRRK2 mutation on mitochondrial trafficking and cytoskeletal structure in iPSC-derived dopamine neurons and sensory neurons. We have found the same mutation induces different consequences depending on the cell type being examined, so we are now using live cell imaging to determine mitochondrial and vesicular motility in an effort to correlate neuron-specific defects to disease phenotypes. Finally, we are examining the secretome and microRNA profile of dystrophin deficient iPSC-derived myocytes to identify novel therapeutic targets to treat muscular dystrophy.



Ebert Lab

Lab alumni

Jered McGivern, PhD, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Lakeland College, Sheboygan, WI

Teresa Patitucci, PhD, Assistant Professor in Cell Biology, Neurobiology & Anatomy, Medical College of Wisconsin

Andrew Schwab, PhD, Study Director at Metabolon, Inc, Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina

Emily Seminary, PhD, Associate Medical Writing Document Manager, Astellas Pharma US, Chicago, IL