Joel Ross

BSc (Hons), PhD
Assistant Professor
(902) 566-6009
Duffy Science Centre, 434
BSc, University of New Brunswick
PhD, University of Ottawa
Postdoctoral Fellowship, The Hospital for Sick Children

My research uses cellular and molecular approaches to explore mechanisms underlying gene regulation and human brain cell development, and to understand how misregulation of these processes contributes to neurodevelopmental disorders like autism. To this end we use cell fate reprogramming to generate human neurons and functional genetic tools to manipulate the expression of specific genes. Current projects in the lab are primarily focused on the neurobiological functions of long noncoding RNAs and other gene regulatory factors.

  • Rodrigues DC, Kim DS, Yang G, Zaslavsky K, Ha K, Mok RSF, Ross PJ, Piekna A, Wei W, Thompson T, Blencowe BJ, Morris Q, and Ellis J. MECP2 is post-transcriptionally regulated during human neurodevelopment by combinatorial action of RNA binding proteins and miRNAs. Cell Reports, 17:720-734.
  • Zhang W, Ross PJ, Tu Y, Wang Y, Beggs S, Sengar A, Ellis J, and Salter MW. (2016). Kinase Fyn regulates GluN2B subunit-dominant NMDA receptors in human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neurons. Scientific Reports 6:23837. doi:10.1038/srep23837.
  • Khattak S, Brimble E, Zhang W, Zaslavsky K, Strong E, Ross PJ, Hendry J, Mital S, Salter MW, Osborne LR, and Ellis J. (2015). Human induced pluripotent stem cell derived neurons as a model for William-Beuren syndrome. Molecular Brain 8:77. doi:10.1186/s13041-015-0168-0.
  • Djuric U, Cheung AY, Zhang W, Mok RS, Lai W, Piekna A, Hendry JA, Ross PJ, Pasceri P, Kim D-S, Salter MW, and Ellis J. (2015). MECP2e1 isoform mutation affects the form and function of neurons derived from Rett syndrome patient iPS cells. Neurobiology of Disease. 76:37-45.
  • Kim D-S, Ross PJ, Zaslavsky K, and Ellis J. (2014). Optimizing differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells to model autism spectrum disorder. Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience doi:10.3389/fncel.2014.00109.
  • Han H, Irimia M, Ross PJ, Sung H-K, Alipanahi B, David L, Golipour G, Gabut M, Michael IP, Nachman EN, Wang E, Trcka D, Thompson T, O’Hanlon D, Slobodeniuc V, Barbosa-Morais NL, Burge CB, Moffat J, Frey BJ, Nagy A, Ellis J, Wrana JL, and Blencowe BJ. (2013). MBNL proteins repress embryonic stem cell-specific alternative splicing and reprogramming. Nature 498:241-245.
  • Cole CJ, Mercaldo V, Restivo L, Yiu AP, Sekeres M, Han J-H, Vetere G, Pekar T, Ross PJ, Neve RL, Frankland PW, and Josselyn SA. (2012). MEF2 negatively regulates learning-induced structural plasticity and memory formation.  Nature Neuroscience 15:1255-1264.
  • Ross PJ, Kennedy MA, Cristou C, Risco Quiroz M, Poulin K, and Parks RJ. (2011). Assembly of helper-dependent adenovirus DNA into chromatin promotes efficient gene expression. Journal of Virology 85:3950-3958.
  • Vetere G, Restivo L, Cole C, Ross PJ, Ammassari-Teule M, Josselyn SA, and Frankland PW. (2011). Spine growth in the anterior cingulate cortex is necessary for the consolidation of contextual fear memory. PNAS 108:8456-8460.
  • Ross PJ and Ellis J. (2010). Modeling neuropsychiatric disease using induced pluripotent stem cells. F1000 Biology Reports 2:84. doi:10.3410/B2-84.
  • Ross PJ, Kennedy MA, and Parks RJ. (2009). Host cell detection of noncoding stuffer DNA contained in helper-dependent adenovirus vectors leads to epigenetic repression of transgene expression. Journal of Virology 83:8409-8417.
  • Muruve DA, Petrilli V, Zaiss AK, White LR, Clark SA, Ross PJ, Parks RJ, and Tschopp J.  (2008). The inflammasome recognizes cytosolic microbial and host DNA and triggers an innate immune response. Nature 452:103-107. 

BIO 221 – CELL BIOLOGY – This course examines the structure and function of living cells. Topics include cellular membranes, respiration, the cytoskeleton and nucleus, cell division, intercellular interactions, the cell in its environment, differences between plant and animal cells, different cell types, and special topics in biomedical cell biology. Three hours lecture, one hour tutorial a week.

BIO331 – RESEARCH METHODS AND COMMUNICATION IN BIOLOGY – This course is an introduction to research methods and the basic principles of scientific communication, as expressed in the Biological Sciences. Lectures, exercises and assignments focus on science writing, critical reading, the principles of study design, and the analysis, interpretation, and presentation of biological data. Three hours lecture, Two hours laboratory a week.

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