Bennett G Novitch
Professor, Neurobiology, University of California Los Angeles
Member, Brain Research Institute, CTSI, Cell & Developmental Biology GPB Home Area, Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Research, Gene Regulation GPB Home Area, JCCC Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program Area, Neuroscience GPB Home Area
The primary goal of my laboratorys research is to determine the molecular pathways that direct the differentiation of neural stem and progenitor cells (NPCs) and the assembly of neural circuits, particularly those that control motor functions such as locomotion and breathing. To achieve this goal, we focus on identifying the growth factor signals, transcriptional networks, and downstream effectors that control the formation of neurons and glial cells in the spinal cord and brain. Insights into these fundamental mechanisms are essential for determining the function of NPCs in both normal development and diseased states, and for developing new methods to manipulate NPCs to facilitate the repair of damaged neural tissues.
Dr. Novitch’s interest in developmental biology and stem cell research grew out of work he did as a graduate student, studying the gene regulatory network that enables the formation of skeletal muscle. As a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Novitch identified growth factor signals and transcription factors that direct the formation of motor neurons in the spinal cord. His long-term goal is to discover how developmental mechanisms can be harnessed to program stem cells to form mature cells types with therapeutic and disease-modeling potential. His research already has led to the establishment of methods by which different classes of neurons, such as motor neurons, and three-dimensional brain structures can be generated in culture from pluripotent stem cells. In addition to being a member of the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, Dr. Novitch also is affiliated with the Brain Research Institute, UCLAs Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, the Molecular Biology Institute and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center. He also is a member of the Society for Developmental Biology and the International Society for Stem Cell Research. Dr. Novitch is currently a Professor of Neurobiology and holds the Ethel Scheibel Chair in Neuroscience. Dr. Novitch joined the UCLA faculty from the University of Michigan, where he was an Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology. He earned his Masters degree in Medical Sciences in 1993 from Harvard Medical School and his Doctoral degree in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology in 1998 from Harvard University. He also completed postdoctoral training at the Center for Neurobiology and Behavior at Columbia University. Dr. Novitch’s work is funded by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, the National Institude of Child Health and Human Development, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
- Li LK, Huang WC, Hsueh YY, Yamauchi K, Olivares N, Davila R, Fang J, Ding X, Zhao W, Soto J, Hasani M, Novitch B, Li S. Intramuscular delivery of neural crest stem cell spheroids enhances neuromuscular regeneration after denervation injury.. Stem cell research & therapy, 2022.
- Taniguchi-Ikeda M, Koyanagi-Aoi M, Maruyama T, Takaori T, Hosoya A, Tezuka H, Nagase S, Ishihara T, Kadoshima T, Muguruma K, Ishigaki K, Sakurai H, Mizoguchi A, Novitch BG, Toda T, Watanabe M, Aoi T. Restoration of the defect in radial glial fiber migration and cortical plate organization in a brain organoid model of Fukuyama muscular dystrophy.. iScience, 2021.
- Allison T, Langerman J, Sabri S, Otero-Garcia M, Lund A, Huang J, Wei X, Samarasinghe RA, Polioudakis D, Mody I, Cobos I, Novitch BG, Geschwind DH, Plath K, Lowry WE. Defining the nature of human pluripotent stem cell-derived interneurons via single-cell analysis.. Stem cell reports, 2021.
- Samarasinghe RA, Miranda OA, Buth JE, Mitchell S, Ferando I, Watanabe M, Allison TF, Kurdian A, Fotion NN, Gandal MJ, Golshani P, Plath K, Lowry WE, Parent JM, Mody I, Novitch BG. Identification of neural oscillations and epileptiform changes in human brain organoids.. Nature neuroscience, 2021.
- Gupta S, Yamauchi K, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. Derivation of dorsal spinal sensory interneurons from human pluripotent stem cells.. STAR protocols, 2021.
- Pearson CA, Moore DM, Tucker HO, Dekker JD, Hu H, Miquelajáuregui A, Novitch BG. Foxp1 Regulates Neural Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Bias Toward Deep Layer Cortical Fates.. Cell reports, 2020.
- Andrews MG, Kong J, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. New perspectives on the mechanisms establishing the dorsal-ventral axis of the spinal cord.. Current topics in developmental biology, 2018.
- Sagner A, Gaber ZB, Delile J, Kong JH, Rousso DL, Pearson CA, Weicksel SE, Melchionda M, Mousavy Gharavy SN, Briscoe J, Novitch BG. Olig2 and Hes regulatory dynamics during motor neuron differentiation revealed by single cell transcriptomics.. PLoS biology, 2018.
- Han AY, Gupta S, Novitch BG. Molecular specification of facial branchial motor neurons in vertebrates.. Developmental biology, 2018.
- Watanabe M, Buth JE, Vishlaghi N, de la Torre-Ubieta L, Taxidis J, Khakh BS, Coppola G, Pearson CA, Yamauchi K, Gong D, Dai X, Damoiseaux R, Aliyari R, Liebscher S, Schenke-Layland K, Caneda C, Huang EJ, Zhang Y, Cheng G, Geschwind DH, Golshani P, Sun R, Novitch BG. Self-Organized Cerebral Organoids with Human-Specific Features Predict Effective Drugs to Combat Zika Virus Infection.. Cell reports, 2017.
- Sangwan S, Zhao A, Adams KL, Jayson CK, Sawaya MR, Guenther EL, Pan AC, Ngo J, Moore DM, Soriaga AB, Do TD, Goldschmidt L, Nelson R, Bowers MT, Koehler CM, Shaw DE, Novitch BG, Eisenberg DS. Atomic structure of a toxic, oligomeric segment of SOD1 linked to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2017.
- Varadarajan SG, Kong JH, Phan KD, Kao TJ, Panaitof SC, Cardin J, Eltzschig H, Kania A, Novitch BG, Butler SJ. Netrin1 Produced by Neural Progenitors, Not Floor Plate Cells, Is Required for Axon Guidance in the Spinal Cord.. Neuron, 2017.
- Li C, Deng YQ, Wang S, Ma F, Aliyari R, Huang XY, Zhang NN, Watanabe M, Dong HL, Liu P, Li XF, Ye Q, Tian M, Hong S, Fan J, Zhao H, Li L, Vishlaghi N, Buth JE, Au C, Liu Y, Lu N, Du P, Qin FX, Zhang B, Gong D, Dai X, Sun R, Novitch BG, Xu Z, Qin CF, Cheng G. 25-Hydroxycholesterol Protects Host against Zika Virus Infection and Its Associated Microcephaly in a Mouse Model.. Immunity, 2017.
- Huang C, Su T, Xue Y, Cheng C, Lay FD, McKee RA, Li M, Vashisht A, Wohlschlegel J, Novitch BG, Plath K, Kurdistani SK, Carey M. Cbx3 maintains lineage specificity during neural differentiation.. Genes & development, 2017.
- Linares AJ, Lin CH, Damianov A, Adams KL, Novitch BG, Black DL. The splicing regulator PTBP1 controls the activity of the transcription factor Pbx1 during neuronal differentiation.. eLife, 2015.
- Kong JH, Yang L, Dessaud E, Chuang K, Moore DM, Rohatgi R, Briscoe J, Novitch BG. Notch activity modulates the responsiveness of neural progenitors to sonic hedgehog signaling.. Developmental cell, 2015.
- Adams KL, Rousso DL, Umbach JA, Novitch BG. Foxp1-mediated programming of limb-innervating motor neurons from mouse and human embryonic stem cells.. Nature communications, 2015.
- Pearson CA, Butler SJ, Novitch BG. Neuronal organization: unsticking the cadherin code.. Current biology : CB, 2014.
- Niewiadomski P, Kong JH, Ahrends R, Ma Y, Humke EW, Khan S, Teruel MN, Novitch BG, Rohatgi R. Gli protein activity is controlled by multisite phosphorylation in vertebrate Hedgehog signaling.. Cell reports, 2013.
- Xu B, Hrycaj SM, McIntyre DC, Baker NC, Takeuchi JK, Jeannotte L, Gaber ZB, Novitch BG, Wellik DM. Hox5 interacts with Plzf to restrict Shh expression in the developing forelimb.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2013.
- Gaber ZB, Butler SJ, Novitch BG. PLZF regulates fibroblast growth factor responsiveness and maintenance of neural progenitors.. PLoS biology, 2013.
- Kong JH, Butler SJ, Novitch BG. My brain told me to do it.. Developmental cell, 2013.
- Jacob J, Kong J, Moore S, Milton C, Sasai N, Gonzalez-Quevedo R, Terriente J, Imayoshi I, Kageyama R, Kageyama R, Wilkinson DG, Novitch BG, Briscoe J. Retinoid acid specifies neuronal identity through graded expression of Ascl1.. Current biology : CB, 2013.
- Wang Y, Kim E, Wang X, Novitch BG, Yoshikawa K, Chang LS, Zhu Y. ERK inhibition rescues defects in fate specification of Nf1-deficient neural progenitors and brain abnormalities.. Cell, 2012.
- Roy A, Francius C, Rousso DL, Seuntjens E, Debruyn J, Luxenhofer G, Huber AB, Huylebroeck D, Novitch BG, Clotman F. Onecut transcription factors act upstream of Isl1 to regulate spinal motoneuron diversification.. Development (Cambridge, England), 2012.
- Umbach JA, Adams KL, Gundersen CB, Novitch BG. Functional neuromuscular junctions formed by embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons.. PloS one, 2012.
- Rousso DL, Pearson CA, Gaber ZB, Miquelajauregui A, Li S, Portera-Cailliau C, Morrisey EE, Novitch BG. Foxp-mediated suppression of N-cadherin regulates neuroepithelial character and progenitor maintenance in the CNS.. Neuron, 2012.
- Kang P, Lee HK, Glasgow SM, Finley M, Donti T, Gaber ZB, Graham BH, Foster AE, Novitch BG, Gronostajski RM, Deneen B. Sox9 and NFIA coordinate a transcriptional regulatory cascade during the initiation of gliogenesis.. Neuron, 2012.
- Skaggs K, Martin DM, Novitch BG. Regulation of spinal interneuron development by the Olig-related protein Bhlhb5 and Notch signaling.. Development (Cambridge, England), 2011.
- Gaber ZB, Novitch BG. All the embryo's a stage, and Olig2 in its time plays many parts.. Neuron, 2011.
- Huettl RE, Soellner H, Bianchi E, Novitch BG, Huber AB. Npn-1 contributes to axon-axon interactions that differentially control sensory and motor innervation of the limb.. PLoS biology, 2011.
- Palmesino E, Rousso DL, Kao TJ, Klar A, Laufer E, Uemura O, Okamoto H, Novitch BG, Kania A. Foxp1 and lhx1 coordinate motor neuron migration with axon trajectory choice by gating Reelin signalling.. PLoS biology, 2010.
- Ribes V, Balaskas N, Sasai N, Cruz C, Dessaud E, Cayuso J, Tozer S, Yang LL, Novitch B, Marti E, Briscoe J. Distinct Sonic Hedgehog signaling dynamics specify floor plate and ventral neuronal progenitors in the vertebrate neural tube.. Genes & development, 2010.
- Dessaud E, Ribes V, Balaskas N, Yang LL, Pierani A, Kicheva A, Novitch BG, Briscoe J, Sasai N. Dynamic assignment and maintenance of positional identity in the ventral neural tube by the morphogen sonic hedgehog.. PLoS biology, 2010.
- Novitch BG, Butler SJ. Reducing the mystery of neuronal differentiation.. Cell, 2009.
- Vue TY, Bluske K, Alishahi A, Yang LL, Koyano-Nakagawa N, Novitch B, Nakagawa Y. Sonic hedgehog signaling controls thalamic progenitor identity and nuclei specification in mice.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2009.
- Karumbayaram S, Novitch BG, Patterson M, Umbach JA, Richter L, Lindgren A, Conway AE, Clark AT, Goldman SA, Plath K, Wiedau-Pazos M, Kornblum HI, Lowry WE. Directed differentiation of human-induced pluripotent stem cells generates active motor neurons.. Stem cells (Dayton, Ohio), 2009.
- Rousso DL, Gaber ZB, Wellik D, Morrisey EE, Novitch BG. Coordinated actions of the forkhead protein Foxp1 and Hox proteins in the columnar organization of spinal motor neurons.. Neuron, 2008.
- Briscoe J, Novitch BG. Regulatory pathways linking progenitor patterning, cell fates and neurogenesis in the ventral neural tube.. Philosophical transactions of the Royal Society of London. Series B, Biological sciences, 2008.
- Dessaud E, Yang LL, Hill K, Cox B, Ulloa F, Ribeiro A, Mynett A, Novitch BG, Briscoe J. Interpretation of the sonic hedgehog morphogen gradient by a temporal adaptation mechanism.. Nature, 2007.
- Mukouyama YS, Deneen B, Lukaszewicz A, Novitch BG, Wichterle H, Jessell TM, Anderson DJ. Olig2+ neuroepithelial motoneuron progenitors are not multipotent stem cells in vivo.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2006.
- Marshall CA, Novitch BG, Goldman JE. Olig2 directs astrocyte and oligodendrocyte formation in postnatal subventricular zone cells.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience, 2005.
- Qu J, Li X, Novitch BG, Zheng Y, Kohn M, Xie JM, Kozinn S, Bronson R, Beg AA, Minden A. PAK4 kinase is essential for embryonic viability and for proper neuronal development.. Molecular and cellular biology, 2003.
- Bylund M, Andersson E, Novitch BG, Muhr J. Vertebrate neurogenesis is counteracted by Sox1-3 activity.. Nature neuroscience, 2003.
- Novitch BG, Wichterle H, Jessell TM, Sockanathan S. A requirement for retinoic acid-mediated transcriptional activation in ventral neural patterning and motor neuron specification.. Neuron, 2003.
- Novitch BG, Chen AI, Jessell TM. Coordinate regulation of motor neuron subtype identity and pan-neuronal properties by the bHLH repressor Olig2.. Neuron, 2001.
- Novitch BG, Spicer DB, Kim PS, Cheung WL, Lassar AB. pRb is required for MEF2-dependent gene expression as well as cell-cycle arrest during skeletal muscle differentiation.. Current biology : CB, 1999.
- Sellers WR, Novitch BG, Miyake S, Heith A, Otterson GA, Kaye FJ, Lassar AB, Kaelin WG. Stable binding to E2F is not required for the retinoblastoma protein to activate transcription, promote differentiation, and suppress tumor cell growth.. Genes & development, 1998.
- Skapek SX, Rhee J, Kim PS, Novitch BG, Lassar AB. Cyclin-mediated inhibition of muscle gene expression via a mechanism that is independent of pRB hyperphosphorylation.. Molecular and cellular biology, 1996.
- Novitch BG, Mulligan GJ, Jacks T, Lassar AB. Skeletal muscle cells lacking the retinoblastoma protein display defects in muscle gene expression and accumulate in S and G2 phases of the cell cycle.. The Journal of cell biology, 1996.
- Halevy O, Novitch BG, Spicer DB, Skapek SX, Rhee J, Hannon GJ, Beach D, Lassar AB. Correlation of terminal cell cycle arrest of skeletal muscle with induction of p21 by MyoD.. Science (New York, N.Y.), 1995.
- Lassar AB, Skapek SX, Novitch B. Regulatory mechanisms that coordinate skeletal muscle differentiation and cell cycle withdrawal.. Current opinion in cell biology, 1994.