Photo of Elisa  Barbarese, Ph.D.

Elisa Barbarese, Ph.D.

Professor of Neuroscience
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030-3401
Phone: 860-679-3495
Fax: 860-679-8766

Barbarese Lab Page

Neuroscience Graduate Program

B.A.College Jesus-MarieChemistry
B.S.University of MontrealBiochemistry
M.S.University of MontrealBiochemistry
Ph.D.McGill UniversityBiochemistry

Post-Graduate Training
FellowshipEMBO Fellowship Summer Course in Virology
FellowshipNATOFellowship Summer Course in Mammalian Genetics
FellowshipCancer Research SocietyGraduate Student Fellowship
FellowshipCanadian Federation of University WomenMargaret McWilliams Traveling Fellowship
FellowshipConseil de la Recherche en Sante du QuebecPost-doctoral Fellowship
PostdoctoralUniversity of ConnecticutCell & Mol. Biology

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Jacob K. Javits Neuroscience Investigator Award, 1993-2000.
Name & DescriptionCategoryRoleTypeScopeStart YearEnd Year
NMSS scientific advisory committee Advisory CommitteememberExternalNational20092012
NDGB/SRG (NIH)Professional/Scientific Organizationtemporary memberExternalNational20062008
Fonds zur Forderung, Austria, Professional/Scientific Organizationad hoc reviewerExternalInternational2006
National Science FoundationProfessional/Scientific OrganizationAd hoc Grants Reviewer ExternalNational20052006
National Multiple Sclerosis Society Professional/Scientific Organizationad hoc grant reviewerExternalNational20052006
Fondazione Telethon (Italy)Professional/Scientific Organizationad hoc grant reviewerExternalInternational2004
Israel Science Foundation Professional/Scientific Organizationad hoc grant reviewerExternalInternational2004
Graduate Program in Neuroscience Education CommitteeDirectorUConn HealthUniversity19961998
NIH Reviewers Reserve Professional/Scientific OrganizationReviewerExternalNational19951999
NIH Special Review CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeAd hoc reviewer ExternalNational1994
NIH Neurological Science Study Section 1Study SectionMemberExternalNational19911995
MD/Ph.D. Combined Degree Program Steering Committee Education CommitteeCommittee memberUConn HealthUniversity19902002
NIH Neurological Science Study Section IStudy SectionAd hoc reviewerExternalNational1990
Member of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience; Member of the Executive CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity1982
Member of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience; Admission CommitteeAdvisory CommitteeMemberOtherUniversity1982
Member of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience; Student Progress CommitteeEducation CommitteeMemberUConn HealthUniversity1982
Member of the Graduate Program in Neuroscience; Chair of the Curriculum Committee. Education CommitteeChairUConn HealthUniversity1982

The role of mRNA trafficking in myelin and synapse formation.Our laboratory studies the mechanism and regulation of mRNA transport, localization, and translation in oligodendrocytes and neurons. An 11-nucleotide sequence first identified in the 3’UTR of myelin basic protein, a major and essential component of myelin, is also present in several neuronal mRNAs implicated in synaptic plasticity. This sequence is recognized by the protein hnRNP A2 which in turn binds to TOG (tumor overexpressed gene) protein. The function of TOG may be to assemble mRNAs whose proteins function in an interdependent manner, in the same complex or RNA granule so that their translation can be regulated coordinately.

Not accepting lab rotation students at this time

Lab Rotation Projects
Characterization of a neuronal TOG knockout mouse. TOG is found in granules that transport mRNAs such as CamKII, neurogranin, arc, FMRP (fragile mental retardation protein) in dendrites for translation at or near synapses. We have generated a conditional TOG knockout mouse using the cre-lox system. We have begun the characterization of mice in which TOG was specifically abolished in neurons of the hippocampus. Preliminary data indicate that these mice have behavior deficits and suggest that dysregulation of translation may be responsible for their abnormal phenotype. Analysis will be carried out at the behavioral, cellular and molecular levels in order to identify the role and mode of action of TOG in neurons, and to determine if the knockout mouse can be a model for autism.

Characterization of a glial TOG knockout mouse.
Myelin basic protein (MBP) mRNA is transported to and translated in myelin. TOG is a component of granules that transport MBP mRNA to the myelin compartment and may be required for its translation. Mice in which TOG has been knockout in oligodendrocytes fail to make myelin and exhibit all the characteristics of mice that are MBP knockout. Cellular and molecular analysis of cultured oligodendrocytes from TOG knockout mice will be performed to determine if dysregulation of MBP expression is the mechanism responsible for the defect in myelin formation.

Journal Articles

Book Chapters

  • Oligodendrocyte differentiation: Quantitative studies in primary cultures of dissociated fetal rat brain
    Bansal R, Barbarese E, Bhat S, Carson J, Edgar A, Friederich V, Macklin W, Pfeiffer SE, Singh H, Woodiel F Glial-Neuronal Communication in Development and Regeneration, 1986 Jan;737-754
  • Regulation of early myelinogenesis in primary cultures of dissociated rat brain
    Barbarese E, Bhat S, Bansal R, Carson J, Edgar A, Pfeiffer SE, Singh H, Woodiel F Neuroscience Approached Through Cell Culture. Vol. II. 1983 Jan;167-176

Conference Papers