Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Center for Genetic Medicine

Martha C Bohn, PhD

Martha C Bohn, PhD

Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics



Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago Box 86
225 E Chicago Avenue
Chicago IL 60611

m-bohn( at )

Education/Research Website

Education and Certification

PhD: University of Connecticut, Neuromorphology (1979)


Description of Interests

The Bohn lab is developing gene and stem cell therapies for Parkinson’s disease (PD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)using experimental rodent models of these diseases. Previous studies focused on gene therapy with the neurotrophic factor, glial cell line derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF) which the group has shown slows the progression of dopamine neuron loss in rat models of PD. A phase I clinical trial testing GDNF gene therapy will commence soon. The lab is currently studying viral vector mediated gene silencing of alpha-synuclein, a gene linked to familiar forms of Parkinson’s disease. In addition, the lab is generating neuroprogenitor-like cells and neurospheres from rat and mouse bone marrow and determining whether this interesting source of stem cells can be developed as a novel therapy for PD. Studies of the effects of rat bone marrow derived neurospheres are also being tested for effects on traumatic brain injury. Viral vectors harboring neurotrophic factors are also being made for studies aimed at reversing aging of dopamine neurons in rat hypothalamus and targeting upper motoneurons in mouse models of ALS. The experimental approaches in the lab are multi-faceted and employ techniques ranging from making viral vectors to molecular and morphometric assays to behavioral testing.

Interests (Keywords)

Gene Therapy; Nervous System Diseases; Neurology; Neuroscience

Research and Publications

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