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Alex (Oleksandr) Shcheglovitov

Assistant Professor of Neurobiology, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Development of Human Cerebral Cortex, Synapses, Neuronal Networks in Health and Disease



Molecular Biology Program


B.S. National Technical University of Ukraine

M.S. National Technical University of Ukraine

Ph.D. Bogomoletz Institute of Physiology



Synapses provide the major biochemical substrates for the development and execution of cognitive functions in the brain. Correspondingly, mutations in synaptic proteins have been identified in patients with various mental illnesses. Due to the very limited access to the human brain, mechanisms of synaptic development and function have been mainly investigated in animal models. However, major differences between animals and humans make it difficult to translate the results acquired in animals into treatments for patients. As a result, medicines that are currently available for patients with autism, intellectual disability, bipolar disorders, depression, schizophrenia, and other neuropsychiatric disorders are largely unspecific with serious side effects. Therefore, there is a critical need to study synapses in human neurons. We study the development and function of human synapses under normal and pathological conditions using human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).


Figure 1


We start with skin cells of patients with different neuropsychiatric disorders that carry specific genetic abnormalities in genes encoding synaptic proteins. We reprogram skin cells into iPSCs and differentiate iPSCs into neurons. We study synaptic properties of human neurons using electrophysiology, imaging, biochemistry, and molecular biology techniques. Our goal is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the development and function of human synapses in health and disease.


  1. Byers B, Lee HJ, Liu J, Weitz AJ, Lin P, Zhang P, Shcheglovitov A, Dolmetsch R, Pera RR, Lee JH (2015) "Direct in vivo assessment of human stem cell graft-host neural circuits."Neuroimage 114:328-37
  2. *Eckle VS, *Shcheglovitov A, *Vitko I, Dey D, Yap CC, Winckler B, Perez-Reyes E (2014) “Mechanisms by which CACNA1H mutations found in epilepsy patients increase seizure susceptibilityJournal of Physiology592(Pt 4):795-809
(*equally contributed authors)
  3. Shcheglovitov A, Shcheglovitova O, Yazawa M, Portmann T, Shu R, Sebastiano V, Krawisz A, Froehlich W, Bernstein JA, Hallmayer J, Dolmetsch RE (2013) “Shank3 and IGF1 Restore Synaptic Deficits in Neurons from 22q13 Deletion Syndrome PatientsNature 503(7475):267-71. Featured in: Cell (Dec 13, 2013); Faculty of 1000
  4. Krey JF, Paşca SP, Shcheglovitov A, Yazawa M, Schwemberger R, Rasmusson R, Dolmetsch RE (2012) “Timothy syndrome is associated with activity-dependent dendritic retraction in rodent and human neurons” Nature Neuroscience 16(2):201-9
  5. *Shcheglovitov A, Vitko I, Lazarenko R, Orestes P, Todorovic SM, *Perez-Reyes E (2012) “Molecular and biophysical basis of glutamate and trace metal modulation of voltage-gated Cav2.3 calcium channelsJournal of General Physiology 139(3):219-34 
(*corresponding authors)
  6. Paşca SP, Portmann T, Voineagu I, Yazawa M, Shcheglovitov A, Paşca AM, Cord B, Palmer TD, Chikahisa S, Seiji N, Bernstein JA, Hallmayer J, Geschwind DH, Dolmetsch RE (2011) “Using iPS cell-derived neurons to uncover cellular phenotypes in patients with Timothy SyndromeNature Medicine 17(12):1657-62.
 Featured in: Nat Med (Dec 6, 2011); Nat Rev Neurosci (Dec 20, 2011); Faculty of 1000
  7. *Yoo AS, *Sun AX, *Li L, *Shcheglovitov A, Portmann T, Li Y, Lee-Messer C, Dolmetsch RE, Tsien RW, Crabtree GR (2011) “MicroRNA-Mediated Conversion of Human Fibroblasts to NeuronsNature 476(7359):228-31
(*equally contributed authors).
 Featured in: Nature 476 (7359); Faculty of 1000
  8. Nguyen HN, Byers B, Cord B, Shcheglovitov A, Byrne J, Gujar P, Kee K, Schüle B, Dolmetsch RE, Langston W, Palmer TD, Reijo-Pera R (2011) “LRRK2 mutant iPSC-derived DA neurons demonstrate increased susceptibility to oxidative stressCell Stem Cell 8(3): 267-80
  9. Park CY, Shcheglovitov A, Dolmetsch R (2010) “The CRAC channel activator STIM1 binds and inhibits L-type voltage-gated calcium channelsScience 330(6000): 101-5.
 Featured in: Science 330(6000); Faculty of 1000
Last Updated: 7/8/21