Robert J. Ferrante, PhD, M.S.
Professor of Neurological Surgery
Dr. Ferrante is a member of the Departments of Neurological Surgery, Neurology, and Neurobiology, Director of the Translational Therapeutics Laboratory, and Co-Director of the Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh.
Rm. A526M, Scaife Hall
3550 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Office Telephone: 412-383-8678
- BS - University of Bridgeport, 1970
- M.S. - University of Bridgeport, 1971
- PhD - Boston University School of Medicine, 1995
Research InterestsNeuropathology and mechanisms of neurodegeneration in adult-onset neurological diseases, with special interest in Huntington's Disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; drug development and translational therapeutic strategies, biomarker discovery, and human clinical trials.
A major goal of Dr. Ferrante's current clinical research is to identify parallels in peripheral and central biomarker detection of disease and manifestations of neuronal dysfunction with translation to potential disease-modifying therapies that are being developed and evaluated in the clinical setting, especially in early stage disease. The goal is to create a data set of multiple markers that can be used with multivariate techniques to develop a unique biochemical signature relating to neurological diseases and to evaluate correlative biomarkers and biomarkers in response to therapy.
Dr. Ferrante's work has garnered national and international recognition and he is regularly invited to lecture nationally and internationally. He sits on multiple boards and committees, and on grant review panels for the NIH and the VA, as well as disease-related foundations.
Dr. Ferrante is section editor for Molecular Basis of Disease at Biochimica et Biophysica, and a regular referee for many other journals. He has received multiple honorary awards for his research and dedication to patients with neurological conditions.
Selected PublicationsView Dr. Ferrante's publications on PubMed
- MAP Kinase Phosphatase 1 (MKP-1/DUSP1) Is Neuroprotective in Huntington's Disease via Additive Effects of JNK and p38 Inhibition. Taylor DM, Moser R, Régulier E, Breuillaud L, Dixon M, Beesen AA, Elliston L, Silva Santos MD, Kim J, Jones L, Goldstein DR, Ferrante RJ, Luthi-Carter R. J Neurosci. 2013 Feb 6;33(6):2313-2325.
- The sirtuin 2 inhibitor AK-7 is neuroprotective in Huntington's disease mouse models. Chopra V, Quinti L, Kim J, Vollor L, Narayanan KL, Edgerly C, Cipicchio PM, Lauver MA, Choi SH, Silverman RB, Ferrante RJ, Hersch S, Kazantsev AG. Cell Rep. 2012 Dec 27;2(6):1492-7. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.11.001. Epub 2012 Nov 29.
- A call for transparent reporting to optimize the predictive value of preclinical research. Landis SC, Amara SG, Asadullah K, Austin CP, Blumenstein R, Bradley EW, Crystal RG, Darnell RB, Ferrante RJ, Fillit H, Finkelstein R, Fisher M, Gendelman HE, Golub RM, Goudreau JL, Gross RA, Gubitz AK, Hesterlee SE, Howells DW, Huguenard J, Kelner K, Koroshetz W, Krainc D, Lazic SE, Levine MS, Macleod MR, McCall JM, Moxley RT 3rd, Narasimhan K, Noble LJ, Perrin S, Porter JD, Steward O, Unger E, Utz U, Silberberg SD. Nature. 2012 Oct 11;490(7419):187-91. doi: 10.1038/nature11556.
- Chiral cyclohexane 1,3-diones as inhibitors of mutant SOD1-dependent protein aggregation for the treatment of ALS. Zhang Y, Benmohamed R, Zhang W, Kim J, Edgerly CK, Zhu Y, Morimoto RI, Ferrante RJ, Kirsch DR, Silverman RB. ACS Med Chem Lett. 2012 May 22;3(7):584-587.
- A high-throughput screen to identify inhibitors of SOD1 transcription. Wright PD, Wightman N, Huang M, Weiss A, Sapp PC, Cuny GD, Ivinson AJ, Glicksman MA, Ferrante RJ, Matson W, Matson S, Brown RH Jr. Front Biosci (Elite Ed). 2012 Jun 1;4:2801-8.
- ADME-guided design and synthesis of aryloxanyl pyrazolone derivatives to block mutant superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1) cytotoxicity and protein aggregation: potential application for the treatment of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Chen T, Benmohamed R, Kim J, Smith K, Amante D, Morimoto RI, Kirsch DR, Ferrante RJ, Silverman RB. J Med Chem. 2012 Jan 12;55(1):515-27. doi: 10.1021/jm2014277. Epub 2011 Dec 22.
- Cyclohexane 1,3-diones and their inhibition of mutant SOD1-dependent protein aggregation and toxicity in PC12 cells. Zhang W, Benmohamed R, Arvanites AC, Morimoto RI, Ferrante RJ, Kirsch DR, Silverman RB. Bioorg Med Chem. 2012 Jan 15;20(2):1029-45. doi: 10.1016/j.bmc.2011.11.039. Epub 2011 Nov 30.
- The melatonin MT1 receptor axis modulates mutant Huntingtin-mediated toxicity. Wang X, Sirianni A, Pei Z, Cormier K, Smith K, Jiang J, Zhou S, Wang H, Zhao R, Yano H, Kim JE, Li W, Kristal BS, Ferrante RJ, Friedlander RM. J Neurosci. 2011 Oct 12;31(41):14496-507. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3059-11.2011.
- Ciliogenesis is regulated by a huntingtin-HAP1-PCM1 pathway and is altered in Huntington disease. Keryer G, Pineda JR, Liot G, Kim J, Dietrich P, Benstaali C, Smith K, Cordelières FP, Spassky N, Ferrante RJ, Dragatsis I, Saudou F. J Clin Invest. 2011 Nov;121(11):4372-82. doi: 10.1172/JCI57552. Epub 2011 Oct 10.
- Transcriptional modulator H2A histone family, member Y (H2AFY) marks Huntington disease activity in man and mouse. Hu Y, Chopra V, Chopra R, Locascio JJ, Liao Z, Ding H, Zheng B, Matson WR, Ferrante RJ, Rosas HD, Hersch SM, Scherzer CR. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2011 Oct 11;108(41):17141-6. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1104409108. Epub 2011 Oct 3.