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Neuromuscular Diseases Research Section

Bryan J. Traynor, MD, PhD, Chief

Dr. Traynor's laboratory is best known for its work to understand 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, CHCHD10, HTT and SPTLC1 genes as causes of familial ALS and FTD (Neuron 2010, Nature Neuroscience 2014, Brain 2014, Neuron 2018, Neuron 2021, JAMA Neurology 2021).

Portfolio/Research Areas

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

Findings and Publications

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

Nicolas A, Kenna KP, Renton AE, Ticozzi N, Faghri F, Chia R, Dominov JA, Kenna BJ, Nalls MA, Keagle P, Rivera AM, van Rheenen W, Murphy NA, van Vugt JJFA, Geiger JT, Van der Spek RA, Pliner HA, Shankaracharya, Smith BN, Marangi G, Topp SD, Abramzon Y, Gkazi AS, Eicher JD, Kenna A, ITALSGEN Consortium., Mora G, Calvo A, Mazzini L, Riva N, Mandrioli J, Caponnetto C, Battistini S, Volanti P, La Bella V, Conforti FL, Borghero G, Messina S, Simone IL, Trojsi F, Salvi F, Logullo FO, D'Alfonso S, Corrado L, Capasso M, Ferrucci L, Genomic Translation for ALS Care (GTAC) Consortium., Moreno CAM, Kamalakaran S, Goldstein DB, ALS Sequencing Consortium., Gitler AD, Harris T, Myers RM, NYGC ALS Consortium., Phatnani H, Musunuri RL, Evani US, Abhyankar A, Zody MC, Answer ALS Foundation., Kaye J, Finkbeiner S, Wyman SK, LeNail A, Lima L, Fraenkel E, Svendsen CN, Thompson LM, Van Eyk JE, Berry JD, Miller TM, Kolb SJ, Cudkowicz M, Baxi E, Clinical Research in ALS and Related Disorders for Therapeutic Development (CReATe) Consortium., Benatar M, Taylor JP, Rampersaud E, Wu G, Wuu J, SLAGEN Consortium., Lauria G, Verde F, Fogh I, Tiloca C, Comi GP, Sorarù G, Cereda C, French ALS Consortium., Corcia P, Laaksovirta H, Myllykangas L, Jansson L, Valori M, Ealing J, Hamdalla H, Rollinson S, Pickering-Brown S, Orrell RW, Sidle KC, Malaspina A, Hardy J, Singleton AB, Johnson JO, Arepalli S, Sapp PC, McKenna-Yasek D, Polak M, Asress S, Al-Sarraj S, King A, Troakes C, Vance C, de Belleroche J, Baas F, Ten Asbroek ALMA, Muñoz-Blanco JL, Hernandez DG, Ding J, Gibbs JR, Scholz SW, Floeter MK, Campbell RH, Landi F, Bowser R, Pulst SM, Ravits JM, MacGowan DJL, Kirby J, Pioro EP, Pamphlett R, Broach J, Gerhard G, Dunckley TL, Brady CB, Kowall NW, Troncoso JC, Le Ber I, Mouzat K, Lumbroso S, Heiman-Patterson TD, Kamel F, Van Den Bosch L, Baloh RH, Strom TM, Meitinger T, Shatunov A, Van Eijk KR, de Carvalho M, Kooyman M, Middelkoop B, Moisse M, McLaughlin RL, Van Es MA, Weber M, Boylan KB, Van Blitterswijk M, Rademakers R, Morrison KE, Basak AN, Mora JS, Drory VE, Shaw PJ, Turner MR, Talbot K, Hardiman O, Williams KL, Fifita JA, Nicholson GA, Blair IP, Rouleau GA, Esteban-Pérez J, García-Redondo A, Al-Chalabi A, Project MinE ALS Sequencing Consortium., Rogaeva E, Zinman L, Ostrow LW, Maragakis NJ, Rothstein JD, Simmons Z, Cooper-Knock J, Brice A, Goutman SA, Feldman EL, Gibson SB, Taroni F, Ratti A, Gellera C, Van Damme P, Robberecht W, Fratta P, Sabatelli M, Lunetta C, Ludolph AC, Andersen PM, Weishaupt JH, Camu W, Trojanowski JQ, Van Deerlin VM, Brown RH Jr, van den Berg LH, Veldink JH, Harms MB, Glass JD, Stone DJ, Tienari P, Silani V, Chiò A, Shaw CE, Traynor BJ, Landers JE. Genome-wide Analyses Identify KIF5A as a Novel ALS Gene. Neuron. 2018;97(6):1268-1283.e6.

Chia R, Sabir MS, Bandres-Ciga S, Saez-Atienzar S, Reynolds RH, Gustavsson E, Walton RL, Ahmed S, Viollet C, Ding J, Makarious MB, Diez-Fairen M, Portley MK, Shah Z, Abramzon Y, Hernandez DG, Blauwendraat C, Stone DJ, Eicher J, Parkkinen L, Ansorge O, Clark L, Honig LS, Marder K, Lemstra A, St George-Hyslop P, Londos E, Morgan K, Lashley T, Warner TT, Jaunmuktane Z, Galasko D, Santana I, Tienari PJ, Myllykangas L, Oinas M, Cairns NJ, Morris JC, Halliday GM, Van Deerlin VM, Trojanowski JQ, Grassano M, Calvo A, Mora G, Canosa A, Floris G, Bohannan RC, Brett F, Gan-Or Z, Geiger JT, Moore A, May P, Krüger R, Goldstein DS, Lopez G, Tayebi N, Sidransky E, American Genome Center., Norcliffe-Kaufmann L, Palma JA, Kaufmann H, Shakkottai VG, Perkins M, Newell KL, Gasser T, Schulte C, Landi F, Salvi E, Cusi D, Masliah E, Kim RC, Caraway CA, Monuki ES, Brunetti M, Dawson TM, Rosenthal LS, Albert MS, Pletnikova O, Troncoso JC, Flanagan ME, Mao Q, Bigio EH, Rodríguez-Rodríguez E, Infante J, Lage C, González-Aramburu I, Sanchez-Juan P, Ghetti B, Keith J, Black SE, Masellis M, Rogaeva E, Duyckaerts C, Brice A, Lesage S, Xiromerisiou G, Barrett MJ, Tilley BS, Gentleman S, Logroscino G, Serrano GE, Beach TG, McKeith IG, Thomas AJ, Attems J, Morris CM, Palmer L, Love S, Troakes C, Al-Sarraj S, Hodges AK, Aarsland D, Klein G, Kaiser SM, Woltjer R, Pastor P, Bekris LM, Leverenz JB, Besser LM, Kuzma A, Renton AE, Goate A, Bennett DA, Scherzer CR, Morris HR, Ferrari R, Albani D, Pickering-Brown S, Faber K, Kukull WA, Morenas-Rodriguez E, Lleó A, Fortea J, Alcolea D, Clarimon J, Nalls MA, Ferrucci L, Resnick SM, Tanaka T, Foroud TM, Graff-Radford NR, Wszolek ZK, Ferman T, Boeve BF, Hardy JA, Topol EJ, Torkamani A, Singleton AB, Ryten M, Dickson DW, Chiò A, Ross OA, Gibbs JR, Dalgard CL, Traynor BJ, Scholz SW. Genome sequencing analysis identifies new loci associated with Lewy body dementia and provides insights into its genetic architecture. Nat Genet. 2021;53(3):294-303..

Saez-Atienzar S, Bandres-Ciga S, Langston RG, Kim JJ, Choi SW, Reynolds RH, International ALS Genomics Consortium; ITALSGEN; Abramzon Y, Dewan R, Ahmed S, Landers JE, Chia R, Ryten M, Cookson MR, Nalls MA, Chiò A, Traynor BJ. Genetic analysis of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identifies contributing pathways and cell types. Sci Adv. 2021;7(3):eabd9036.

Chia R, Saez-Atienzar S, Murphy N, Chiò A, Blauwendraat C; International Myasthenia Gravis Genomics Consortium, Roda RH, Tienari PJ, Kaminski HJ, Ricciardi R, Guida M, De Rosa A, Petrucci L, Evoli A, Provenzano C, Drachman DB, Traynor BJ. Identification of genetic risk loci and prioritization of genes and pathways for myasthenia gravis: a genome-wide association study. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2022 Feb 1;119(5):e2108672119

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