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Jay B. Bikoff, PhD
Jay  B. Bikoff, PhD

Jay B. Bikoff, PhD

Assistant Member, St. Jude Faculty



ScB – Brown University, Providence, RI
PhD – Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Research Interests

The circuits directly tasked with controlling movement are located in the spinal cord, where diverse collections of interneurons receive input from sensory and descending systems to control motor neuron firing. Despite their critical role in influencing movement, we know little about the functional organization of these interneurons and how they govern precise patterns of motor output. Our work takes advantage of the genetic accessibility of mice to dissect the identity and circuitry of spinal interneurons, with the goal of understanding how they interact with sensory input and descending systems in the brain to control movement. The lab focuses on three general areas of research:

  • Cell type diversity in the nervous system
  • Connectivity of spinal motor circuits
  • Function of spinal interneurons in motor control

Selected Publications

Lane AR, Cogdell IC, Jessell TM, Bikoff JB, Alvarez FJ.Genetic targeting of adult Renshaw cells using a Calbindin 1 destabilized Cre allele for intersection with Parvalbumin or Engrailed1Sci Rep 11:19861, 2021.

Salamatina A, Yang JH, Brenner-Morton S, Bikoff JB, Fang L, Kintner CR, Jessell TM, Sweeney LB. Differential loss of spinal interneurons in a mouse model of ALS. Neuroscience 450:81-95, 2020.

Bikoff JB. Interneuron diversity and function in the spinal motor system. Curr Opin Physiol 8:36-43, 2019. DOI:10.1016/j.cophys.2018.12.013

Hoang P, Chalif JI, Bikoff JB, Jessell TM, Mentis GZ, Wichterle H. Subtype diversification and synaptic specificity of stem cell-derived spinal interneurons. Neuron 100:135-149, 2018.

Sweeney LB, Bikoff JB*, Gabitto MI*, Brenner-Morton S, Baek M, Yang JH, Tabak EG, Dasen JS, Kintner CR, Jessell TM. Origin and segmental diversity of spinal inhibitory interneurons. Neuron 97:341-355, 2018. *equal contribution

Gosgnach S, Bikoff JB, Dougherty K, El Manira A, Lanuza G, Zhang Y. Delineating the diversity of spinal interneurons in locomotor circuits. J Neurosci 37(45):10835-10841, 2017.

Bikoff JB, Gabitto MI, Rivard AF, Drobac E, Machado TA, Miri A, Brenner-Morton S, Famojure E, Diaz C, Alvarez FJ, Mentis GZ, Jessell TM. Spinal inhibitory interneuron diversity delineates variant motor microcircuits. Cell 165:207-219, 2016.

Gabitto MI*, Pakman A*, Bikoff JB*, Abbott LF, Jessell TM, Paninski L. Bayesian sparse regression analysis documents the diversity of spinal inhibitory interneurons. Cell 165:220-233, 2016. *equal contribution

Ho HY, Susman MW, Bikoff JB, Ryu YK, Jonas AM, Hu L, Kuruvilla R, Greenberg ME. Wnt5a-Ror-Dishevelled signaling constitutes a core developmental pathway that controls tissue morphogenesis. Proc Natl Acad Sci 13:4044-4051, 2012.

Margolis SS, Salogiannis J, Lipton DM, Mandel-Brehm C, Wills ZP, Mardinly AR,  Hu L, Greer PL, Bikoff JB, Ho HY, Soskis MJ, Sahin M, Greenberg ME. EphB-mediated degredation of the RhoA GEF Ephexin5 relieves a developmental brake on excitatory synapse formation. Cell 143:442-455, 2010.

Zhou P, Porcionatto M, Pilapil M, Chen Y, Choi Y, Tolias KF, Bikoff JB, Hong EJ, Greenberg ME, Segal RA. Polarized signaling endosomes coordinate BDNF-induced chemotaxis of cerebellar precursors. Neuron 55:53-68, 2007.

Tolias KF, Bikoff JB, Kane CG, Tolias CS, Hu L, Greenberg ME. The Rac1 guanine nucleotide exchange factor Tiam1 mediates EphB receptor-dependent dendritic spine development.  Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:7265-7270, 2007.

Fu WY, Chen Y, Sahin M, Zhao SS, Shi L, Bikoff JB, Lai KO, Yung WH, Fu AKY, Greenberg ME, Ip NY. Cdk5 regulates EphA4-mediated dendritic spine retraction through an ephexin1-dependent mechanism. Nat Neurosci 10:67-76, 2007.

Tolias KF*, Bikoff JB*, Burette A, Paradis S, Harrar D, Tavazoie S, Weinberg RJ, Greenberg ME. The Rac1-GEF Tiam1 couples the NMDA receptor to the activity-dependent development of dendritic arbors and spines. Neuron 45:525-538, 2005. *equal contribution

Wills Z, Emerson M, Rusch J, Bikoff J, Baum B, Perrimon N, Van Vactor D. A Drosophila homolog of cyclase-associated proteins collaborates with the Abl tyrosine kinase to control midline axon pathfinding. Neuron 36:611-622, 2002.

Last update: October 2021