Columbia University Medical Center


Tom Maniatis, PhD

Tom Maniatis, PhD
  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics
  • Isidore S. Edelman Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Director, Columbia University Precision Medicine InitiativeExecutive Committee, Zukerman Mind Brain Behavior InstitutePrincipal Investigator, Maniatis LabScientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of the New York Genome Center

The primary focus of my lab during the past 10 years has been in two areas: 1. Disease mechanisms of ALS, which involves a combination of human genetic, stem cell and animal model approaches, and 2. The structure and function of the clustered protocadherin (Pcdh) genes.  We have used behavioral assays in both projects to characterize the phenotypic consequences of mutations in mouse models.  The ALS animal model work has involved the use of various neuromuscular behavioral studies of the SOD1 G93A mouse model, while the protocadherin project has involved studies of both motor function and affective behavior (depression and anxiety).  Manuscripts describing both studies are under review. The most recent ALS work is a study of the role of autophagy in ALS disease progression, and these studies involved various studies of motor function such as the rotarod test for motor coordination and muscle strength.  The protocadherin studies involve various assays for affective function (anxiety and depression), in Pcdha gene cluster deletion mice. We have shown that these mice display a cell-autonomous serotonergic wiring phenotype, and have characterized the behavioral consequences.  Recent human genetic studies from other laboratories have implicated the Pcdh gene cluster in autism and other neurological diseases.  We have generated a series of well-characterized deletion mutants in the Pcdh gene cluster, and are characterizing their behavioral phenotypes. Thus, the behavior core is central to our ongoing and future studies.


Dr. Maniatis is known for pioneering the development of gene cloning technology and its application to both basic research and biotechnology. He also coauthored the definitive laboratory manual on Molecular Cloning. His research has led to fundamental advances in understanding the mechanisms of gene regulation and RNA splicing, the biochemistry of innate immunity signaling pathways, the function of single cell diversity in the nervous system, and neurodegenerative disease mechanisms. Dr. Maniatis received his B.A. and MS. degrees from the University of Colorado in chemistry and biology, and his Ph.D. in molecular biology from Vanderbilt University. After postdoctoral studies at Harvard University and the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, England, Dr. Maniatis was a professor at the California Institute of Technology and subsequently at Harvard University.

Education & Training

  • BA, 1965 Biology, University of Colorado
  • MS, 1967 Chemistry, University of Colorado
  • PhD, 1971 Molecular Biology, Vanderbilt University
  • Primary Lab Locations

    Jerome L. Greene Science Center

    3227 Broadway
    Quad 4A
    New York, NY 10027

    (212) 305-3669

    Honors & Awards

    Dr. Maniatis’ research has been recognized by many awards, including the Eli Lilly Award in Microbiology and Immunology, The Richard Lounsbery Award for Biology and Medicine (Awarded by the French and U.S National Academy of Sciences), and the 2012 Lasker-Koshland Special Achievement Award in Medical Science.  He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Science, the U.S. Academy of Medicine, and a fellow of the U.S. Academy of Arts and Sciences.

    Lab Website

    Research Interests

    Regulation of RNA transcription and splicing
    The role of neuroinflammation in ALS
    Neurobiology of Disease
    Synapses and circuits
    Stem cell biology
    ALS disease mechanisms
    Genetic basis of neurological diseases

    Lab Members

  • Daniele Canzio, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Monica Carrasco, PhD, Associate Research Scientist
  • Weisheng Chen, PhD, Associate Research Scientist
  • Maxime Chevee, Tech B
  • Jackie de Vegvar, Tech B
  • aolo Guarnieri, MD, Associate Research Scientist
  • Elena Kandror, BA, Graduate Student
  • Tom Roberts, BS, Tech B
  • Noam Rudnick, BS, MD/PhD Student
  • Helaina Skop, BS, Graduate Student
  • Tenzin, Lab Member
  • Chan Aye Thu, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Andrew Williams, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Junqiang Ye, PhD, Research Associate
  • Jin Zhang, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow
  • Amy Kirner, BS, Tech B
  • Jennifer Liao, BA, Tech B
  • Tom Maniatis, PhD, Chairman
  • George Mountoufaris, BSc, Graduate Student
  • Chiamake Nwakeze, BA, Tech B
  • Sean O'Keeffe, BSc, Computational Biologist
  • Hemali Phatnani, PhD, Associate Research Scientist
  • Gloria Recio, Technician Assistant
  • Collaborators

    Richard Axel - Role of protocadherins in olfactory receptor neuron wiring

    Tom Jessell - Astrocyte/motor neuron interactions in ALS

    Charles Zuker - single cell analysis of taste receptors