Eric Huang, MD, PhD

Department of Pathology
+1 415 476-8525
Research Description: 

I am a physician-scientist with the unique combination of skills in cellular and molecular neurobiology and diagnostic neuropathology. There are two general areas of research in my laboratory, both supported by extramural funding. The first area focuses on the cellular and molecular mechanisms that govern neural circuit development and function. Another major area of research in my lab focuses on the molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases, including frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition to our seminal work to investigate disease mechanisms in model organisms, we have made every effort to directly connect our research with human diseases. To this end, I have spearheaded the efforts to establish the UC Pediatric Neuropathology Consortium. The success of this endeavor is underscored by our extensive collaborations with colleagues within and outside UCSF, which lead to many important discoveries. Most importantly, these studies revealed previously unrecognized role of neural circuit dysfunctions in neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, and re-define our approaches toward investigating the molecular and cellular pathways in these devastating diseases.

Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Research Summary: 
Molecular Mechanisms Controlling Neuronal and Neurovascular Development
Mentorship Development: 

9/11/20    Mentoring Across Differences


Featured Publications: 

Activation of HIPK2 Promotes ER Stress-Mediated Neurodegeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.


Lee S, Shang Y, Redmond SA, Urisman A, Tang AA, Li KH, Burlingame AL, Pak RA, Jovicic A, Gitler AD, Wang J, Gray NS, Seeley WW, Siddique T, Bigio EH, Lee VM, Trojanowski JQ, Chan JR, Huang EJ

Progranulin Deficiency Promotes Circuit-Specific Synaptic Pruning by Microglia via Complement Activation.


Lui H, Zhang J, Makinson SR, Cahill MK, Kelley KW, Huang HY, Shang Y, Oldham MC, Martens LH, Gao F, Coppola G, Sloan SA, Hsieh CL, Kim CC, Bigio EH, Weintraub S, Mesulam MM, Rademakers R, Mackenzie IR, Seeley WW, Karydas A, Miller BL, Borroni B, Ghidoni R, Farese RV, Paz JT, Barres BA, Huang EJ

Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1a1 mediates a GABA synthesis pathway in midbrain dopaminergic neurons.

Science (New York, N.Y.)

Kim JI, Ganesan S, Luo SX, Wu YW, Park E, Huang EJ, Chen L, Ding JB

ALS-associated mutation FUS-R521C causes DNA damage and RNA splicing defects.

The Journal of clinical investigation

Qiu H, Lee S, Shang Y, Wang WY, Au KF, Kamiya S, Barmada SJ, Finkbeiner S, Lui H, Carlton CE, Tang AA, Oldham MC, Wang H, Shorter J, Filiano AJ, Roberson ED, Tourtellotte WG, Chen B, Tsai LH, Huang EJ

Progranulin deficiency promotes neuroinflammation and neuron loss following toxin-induced injury.

The Journal of clinical investigation

Martens LH, Zhang J, Barmada SJ, Zhou P, Kamiya S, Sun B, Min SW, Gan L, Finkbeiner S, Huang EJ, Farese RV

Corridors of migrating neurons in the human brain and their decline during infancy.


Sanai N, Nguyen T, Ihrie RA, Mirzadeh Z, Tsai HH, Wong M, Gupta N, Berger MS, Huang E, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Rowitch DH, Alvarez-Buylla A

Homeodomain interacting protein kinase 2 regulates postnatal development of enteric dopaminergic neurons and glia via BMP signaling.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Chalazonitis A, Tang AA, Shang Y, Pham TD, Hsieh I, Setlik W, Gershon MD, Huang EJ

Interactions of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling and sonic hedgehog regulate the neurogenesis of ventral midbrain dopamine neurons.

The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience

Tang M, Villaescusa JC, Luo SX, Guitarte C, Lei S, Miyamoto Y, Taketo MM, Arenas E, Huang EJ

Extensive FUS-immunoreactive pathology in juvenile amyotrophic lateral sclerosis with basophilic inclusions.

Brain pathology (Zurich, Switzerland)

Huang EJ, Zhang J, Geser F, Trojanowski JQ, Strober JB, Dickson DW, Brown RH, Shapiro BE, Lomen-Hoerth C

HIPK2 represses beta-catenin-mediated transcription, epidermal stem cell expansion, and skin tumorigenesis.

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

Wei G, Ku S, Ma GK, Saito S, Tang AA, Zhang J, Mao JH, Appella E, Balmain A, Huang EJ

Essential function of HIPK2 in TGFbeta-dependent survival of midbrain dopamine neurons.

Nature neuroscience

Zhang J, Pho V, Bonasera SJ, Holtzman J, Tang AT, Hellmuth J, Tang S, Janak PH, Tecott LH, Huang EJ

Targeted deletion of numb and numblike in sensory neurons reveals their essential functions in axon arborization.

Genes & development

Huang EJ, Li H, Tang AA, Wiggins AK, Neve RL, Zhong W, Jan LY, Jan YN

Interaction of Brn3a and HIPK2 mediates transcriptional repression of sensory neuron survival.

The Journal of cell biology

Wiggins AK, Wei G, Doxakis E, Wong C, Tang AA, Zang K, Luo EJ, Neve RL, Reichardt LF, Huang EJ

Trk receptors: roles in neuronal signal transduction.

Annual review of biochemistry

Huang EJ, Reichardt LF

Neurotrophins: roles in neuronal development and function.

Annual review of neuroscience

Huang EJ, Reichardt LF