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Nikolaos Tapinos, MD, PhD

Staff Scientist


Weis Center for Research
100 North Academy Avenue
Danville, PA 17822
Phone: 570-271-6851
Fax: 570-271-6701


MD, University of Athens, Greece, 1996
PhD, University of Athens, Greece, 2000
Postdoctoral Training, The Rockefeller University, 2001-2007


Neurosciences, Cellular Regulation, Brain Tumor


Molecular Neuroscience, Myelination, Cancer Stem Cell migration, Peripheral Neuropathies, Epigenetics


Molecular Neuroscience Laboratory

Glial cells constitute the majority of the cells in the nervous system and are emerging as major regulators of nervous system development, function, and health. Despite their abundance we know surprisingly little about any aspect of their biological functions. My lab focuses on a major question in glial cell biology: Which are the molecular mechanisms that regulate the interaction of glial cells with axons during development, plasticity, regeneration and oncogenesis? Briefly, my lab focuses on the following projects:

Nuclear ErbB3:
1. Role of nuc-ErbB3 in controlling PNS myelination.
2. Role of nuc-ErbB3 in prefrontal cortex in relation to social behavior and schizophrenia.
3. Nuc-ErbB3 in the regulation of transcription associated with oncogenic transformation in stem cells.

Lck tyrosine kinase:
1. Role of Lck in Schwann cell migration and cytoskeletal rearrangements – association with peripheral neuropathies.
2. Lck regulates synaptic density in the hypothalamus – association with obesity.
 3. Role of Lck in synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus – association with disorders of memory.
4. Role of Lck in controlling glioblastoma cancer stem cell migration.

Peripheral neuropathies:
1. Role of non-coding RNAs in the regulation of Egr2 transcription – association with hereditary neuropathies in humans.

Hydrogels for the treatment of peripheral neuropathic pain:
1. In collaboration with In Vivo Therapeutics.

Epigenetics of human Brain Tumor Stem Cells:
1. RNA sequencing of GBM cancer stem cells and normal neural stem cells and unique computational analysis in collaboration with Dr. Fiser’s lab at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
2. Role of antisense RNA in the oncogenic transformation of neural stem cells – origin of cancer in the brain.


Ness JK, Snyder KM, Tapinos N. (2013). Lck tyrosine kinase mediates ß1-integrin signaling to regulate Schwann cell cytoskeletal rearrangements, migration and myelination. Nat Commun , 4:1912.   

Tadepalli A, Sudol I, Tapinos N.. (2012). Combinatorial action of miRNAs regulates transcriptional and post-transcriptional gene silencing following in vivo PNS injury. PLoS One , 7(7),e39674.   

Adilakshmi T, Ness-Myers J, Madrid-Aliste C, Fiser A, Tapinos N. (2011, March). A nuclear variant of ErbB3 receptor tyrosine kinase regulates Ezrin distribution and Schwann cell myelination. J. Neurosci , 31(13): 5106-5119.   

Tapinos, N., Ohnishi, M., Rambukkana, A.. (2006). ErbB2 receptor typrosine kinase signaling mediates early demyelination induced by leprosy bacilli.. Nat. Med. , 12(8), 961-966.   

Rambukkana A, Zanazzi G, Tapinos N, Salzer JL. (2002, May). Contact-dependent demyelination by Mycobacterium leprae in the absence of immune responses. Science , 3;296(5569):927-31.   

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