Mayssa Mokalled, PhD

Assistant Professor of Developmental Biology

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Research interests

The Mokalled lab aims at exploring and promoting spinal cord (SC) repair after injury or disease.

Regenerative capacity is unevenly distributed across organisms.  While mammals exhibit limited abilities to repair SC damage, adult zebrafish are capable of remarkable cellular and functional regeneration after complete SC transection.

Our current research projects are focused on:

  1. Elucidating cellular and molecular mechanisms of glial bridging after SC transection in zebrafish.
  2. Investigating mechanisms of neurogenesis and functional repair in zebrafish.
  3. Performing comparative studies to uncover the bases for differential regenerative capacity between the highly regenerative zebrafish and poorly regenerative mouse models.

The central goal of our research is to inspire and guide innovative molecular and cellular approaches for SC treatment.

Ryan McAdow, Kevin Tran, Mayssa Mokalled, Joel Brown, Lili Zhou

Education and Training

Duke University Medical Center
Postdoctoral Fellow

UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Ph.D. Genetics and Development

American University of Beirut, Lebanon
B.S., M.S. Biology

Selected publications

  1. Mokalled MH. and Poss KD.  A regeneration toolkitDev. Cell.  2018. 47 (3):267-280.  PMID: 30399333.
  2. *Mokalled MH., Patra C., Dickson AL., Endo T., Stainier DY. and Poss KD. Injury-induced ctgfa directs glial bridging and spinal cord regeneration in zebrafish. Science. 2016. 354(6312);630-4. DOI: 10.1126/science.aaf2679.
    *Featured by Science, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the NIH Director’s Blog, The Naked Scientists, BBC national radio, ABC radio in Australia, and others.
  3. Mokalled MH.*, Carroll KJ.*, Cenik BK., Liu N., Olson EN.# and Bassel-Duby R.#. Myocardinrelated transcription factors are required for cardiac development and function. Dev Biol. 2015. pii: S0012-1606(15)30173-1. PMID: 26386146.
  4. Johnson AN., Mokalled MH., Poss KD., and Olson EN. Post-transcriptional regulation of myotube elongation and myogenesis by Hoi Polloi. Development. 2013. 140,3645-56. PMID: 23942517.
  5. Mokalled MH., Johnson AN., Creemers E. and Olson EN. MASTR directs MyoD-dependent satellite cell differentiation during skeletal muscle regeneration. Genes Dev. 2012. 26(2):190-202. PMID: 22279050.
  6. Johnson AN., Mokalled MH., Haden TN. and Olson EN. Jak/Stat signaling regulates heart precursor diversification in Drosophila. Development. 2011. 138(21):4627-38. PMID: 21965617.
  7. Mokalled MH., Johnson A., Kim Y., Oh J. and Olson EN. Myocardin-related transcription factors regulate the Cdk5/Pctaire-1 kinase cascade to control neurite outgrowth, neuronal migration and brain development. Development. 2010. 137(14):2365-74. PMID: 20534669.
  8. Haberland M., Carrer M., Mokalled MH., Montgomery RL. and Olson EN. Redundant control of adipogenesis by histone deacetylases 1 and 2. J Biol Chem. 2010. 285(19):14663-70. PMID: 20190228.
  9. Haberland M., Mokalled MH., Montgomery RL. and Olson EN. Epigenetic control of skull morphogenesis by histone deacetylase 8. Genes Dev. 2009. 23(14):1625-30. PMID: 19605684.
  10. Haberland M., Johnson A., Mokalled MH., Montgomery RL. and Olson EN. Genetic dissection of histone deacetylase requirement in tumore cells. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2009. 106(19):7751-5. PMID: 19416910.
  11. Talhouk RS., Mroue R., Mokalled M., Abi-Mosleh L., Nehme R., Ismail A., Khalil A., Zaatari M. and El-Sabban ME. Heterocellular interaction enhances recruitment of alpha and beta-catenin and ZO- 2 into functional gap-junction complexes and induces gap junction-dependant differentiation of mammary epithelial cells. Exp Cell Res. 2008. 314(18):3275-91. PMID: 18775424.