Search Close Search
Search Close Search
Page Menu

Mechanism & Treatment of ALS Using Mouse Models

The Lab

Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

We conduct research on amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease), a devastating and fatal neurodegenerative disease. ALS causes muscle wasting, weakness and paralysis. These symptoms develop and become progressively more severe because of the progressive motor neuron degeneration in patient’s brain and spinal cord. We try to understand why motor neurons degenerate and how to arrest or reverse the degeneration. To understand why the motor neurons degenerate we model the disease in transgenic mice and analyze the mice (click on the picture on left to see a video about a mouse model). To slowdown the disease progression we test various therapeutic strategies in the transgenic mice.

Meet the Lab


Research Focus

Understanding the Mechanism of Motor Neuron Degeneration

We focus on using transgenic mice as a tool to understand the mechanism of motor neuron degeneration and to develop therapy to slowdown or arrest the progression of the degeneration.

Read More





Z Xu Publications
Hongyan Wang, Bin Yang,Linghua Qiu, Chunxing Yang, Joshua Kramer, Qin Su, Yansu Guo, Robert H. Brown, Jr., Guangping Gao and Zuoshang Xu. Widespread spinal cord transduction by intrathecal injection of rAAV delivers efficacious RNAi therapy for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Hum Mol Gen 23: 668-681 (2014).


Yang C, Danielson EW, Qiao T, Metterville J, Brown RH, Jr., Landers JE, Xu Z. Mutant PFN1 causes ALS phenotypes and progressive motor neuron degeneration in mice by a gain of toxicity. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2016).
Other Selected Publications


Follow our research, stay in touch – join the lab! 

Twitter Feed

Contact Us

Lazare Research Building 817
Campus Map (pdf)

508-856-3309 (office)


Mailing Address:
UMass Chan Medical School
Attn: Dr. Zuoshang Xu/BMB Department
364 Plantation St LRB817
Worcester, MA 01605

Join Us

We are always interested in applications from qualified candidates at postdoctoral and research associate levels.

Read more here

Undergraduates interested in pursuing a PhD at UMass Chan Medical School should apply directly to the Morningside Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences Program.