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Neuromuscular Diseases Research Section

Bryan J. Traynor, MD, PhD, Chief

Dr. Traynor's laboratory is best known for its work aimed at understanding the genetic etiology of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (also known as Lou Gehrig's disease) and frontotemporal dementia. In 2011, he led the international consortium that identified a pathogenic hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the C9orf72 gene as the underlying mutation in a large proportion of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia (Neuron 2011).

Other notable achievements of Dr. Traynor's laboratory include the first genome-wide association study of ALS (Lancet Neuro 2007); identification of the chromosome 9p21 association signal for ALS in the Finnish founder population (Lancet Neuro 2010); the identification of the C9orf72 repeat expansion in patients clinically diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease (NEJM 2012); and the description of mutations in the VCP, MATR3 and CHCHD10 genes as causes of familial ALS (Neuron 2010, Nature Neuroscience 2014, Brain 2014).

Portfolio/Research Areas

  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Myasthenia gravis
  • Neuromuscular disorders
  • Genomics
  • Genetics
  • Epidemiology

Findings and Publications

Johnson JO, Pioro EP, Boehringer A, Chia R, Feit H, Renton AE, Pliner HA, Abramzon Y, Marangi G, Winborn BJ, Gibbs JR, Nalls MA, Morgan S, Shoai M, Hardy J, Pittman A, Orrell RW, Malaspina A, Sidle KC, Fratta P, Harms MB, Baloh RH, Pestronk A, Weihl CC, Rogaeva E, Zinman L, Drory VE, Borghero G, Mora G, Calvo A, Rothstein JD, ITALSGEN, Drepper C, Sendtner M, Singleton AB, Taylor JP, Cookson MR, Restagno G, Sabatelli M, Bowser R, Chiò A, Traynor BJ (2014). Mutations in the Matrin 3 gene cause familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Nature Neuroscience 17:664-666

Majounie E, Abramzon Y, Renton AE, Perry R, Bassett SS, Pletnikova S, Troncoso JC, Hardy J, Singleton AB, Traynor BJ (2012). Repeat Expansion in C9ORF72 in Alzheimer’s Disease. New England Journal of Medicine 366: 283-284

Majounie E, Renton AE, Mok K, Dopper EG, Waite A, Rollinson S, Chiò A, Restagno G, Nicolaou N, Simon-Sanchez J, van Swieten JC, Abramzon Y, Johnson JO, Sendtner M, Pamphlett R, Orrell RW, Mead S, Sidle KC, Houlden H, Rohrer JD, Morrison KE, Pall H, Talbot K, Ansorge O; Chromosome 9-ALS/FTD Consortium; French research network on FTLD/FTLD/ALS; ITALSGEN Consortium, Hernandez DG, Arepalli S, Sabatelli M, Mora G, Corbo M, Giannini F, Calvo A, Englund E, Borghero G, Floris GL, Remes AM, Laaksovirta H, McCluskey L, Trojanowski JQ, Van Deerlin VM, Schellenberg GD, Nalls MA, Drory VE, Lu CS, Yeh TH, Ishiura H, Takahashi Y, Tsuji S, Le Ber I, Brice A, Drepper C, Williams N, Kirby J, Shaw P, Hardy J, Tienari PJ, Heutink P, Morris HR, Pickering-Brown S, Traynor BJ (2012). Frequency of the C9orf72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia: a cross-sectional study. Lancet Neurology 11:323-330.

Renton AE, Majounie E, Waite A, Simón-Sánchez J, Rollinson S, Gibbs JR, Schymick JC, Laaksovirta H, van Swieten JC, Myllykangas L, Kalimo H, Paetau A, Abramzon Y, Remes AM, Kaganovich A, Scholz SW, Duckworth J, Ding J, Harmer DW, Hernandez DG, Johnson JO, Mok K, Ryten M, Trabzuni D, Guerreiro RJ, Orrell RW, Neal J, Murray A, Pearson J, Jansen IE, Sondervan D, Seelaar H, Blake D, Young K, Halliwell N, Callister JB, Toulson G, Richardson A, Gerhard A, Snowden J, Mann D, Neary D, Nalls MA, Peuralinna T, Jansson L, Isoviita VM, Kaivorinne AL, Hölttä-Vuori M, Ikonen E, Sulkava R, Benatar M, Wuu J, Chiò A, Restagno G, Borghero G, Sabatelli M; The ITALSGEN Consortium, Heckerman D, Rogaeva E, Zinman L, Rothstein JD, Sendtner M, Drepper C, Eichler EE, Alkan C, Abdullaev Z, Pack SD, Dutra A, Pak E, Hardy J, Singleton A, Williams NM, Heutink P, Pickering-Brown S, Morris HR, Tienari PJ, Traynor BJ (2011). A Hexanucleotide Repeat Expansion in C9ORF72 Is the Cause of Chromosome 9p21-Linked ALS-FTD. Neuron 72:257-68

Johnson JO, Mandrioli J, Benatar M, Abramzon Y, Van Deerlin VM, Trojanowski JQ, Gibbs JR, Brunetti M, Gronka S, Wuu J, Ding J, McCluskey L, Martinez-Lage M, Falcone D, Hernandez DG, Arepalli S, Chong S, Schymick JC, Rothstein J, Landi F, Wang M, Calvo A, Mora G, Sabatelli M, Monsurrò MR, Battistini S, Salvi F, Spataro R, Sola P, Borghero G, ITALSGEN, Galassi G, Scholz SW, Taylor JP, Restagno G, Chiò A, and Traynor BJ (2010). Exome sequencing reveals VCP mutations as a cause of familial ALS. Neuron 68:857-864