One of many research initiatives in the Matthews' lab focuses on the role of extracellular matrix and cell surface glycoproteins in the developing nervous system and in learning, memory, plasticity and diseases. This slide shows extracellular matrix (ECM) staining on a glioma initiating cell.

Neuroscience Program Faculty

Huaiyu Hu, PhD

Huaiyu Hu, PhD
Appointed 07/01/04
4707 Institute For Human Performance (IHP)
505 Irving Ave.
Syracuse, NY 13210

315 464-5540

Current Appointments

Hospital Campus

  • Downtown

Research Programs and Affiliations

  • Biomedical Sciences Program
  • Neuroscience Program
  • Neuroscience and Physiology
  • Physiology Program

Research Interests

  • Molecular studies of brain malformations.


Mechanisms and therapeutic development in genetic retinal degeneration and brain malformations

Our laboratory studies the mechanisms of genetic diseases affecting the central nervous system, including the eye and the brain, and developing gene therapies for these genetic diseases. We are especially interested in how cell-extracellular matrix interactions are involved in the development of the brain and the retina and how disruptions of such interactions affect normal development.  We focus on two types of genetic diseases, retinitis pigmentosa and congenital muscular dystrophies that also involve the central nervous system.  Specifically, we study the effects of abnormal protein glycosylation on cell-extracellular matrix interactions and how defective cell-extracellular matrix interactions cause retinal dystrophy and brain dysfunction.  In our laboratory, we use mouse and zebrafish to model these diseases and to aid in the discovery of experimental therapeutics including gene therapy.


Selected Publications

Yu M, He Y, Wang K, Zhang P, Zhang S, Hu H. Adeno-associated viral-mediated LARGE gene therapy rescues the muscular dystrophic phenotype in mouse models of dystroglycanopathy. Hum Gene Ther. 2013 Mar;24(3):317-30. doi: 10.1089/hum.2012.084.PMID:23379513

Zhang Z, Zhang P, Hu H. LARGE expression augments the glycosylation of glycoproteins in addition to α-dystroglycan conferring laminin binding. PLoS One. 2011 Apr 20;6(4):e19080. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0019080.PMID:21533062

 Hu H, Li J, Gagen CS, Gray NW, Zhang Z, Qi Y, Zhang P. Conditional knockout of protein O-mannosyltransferase 2 reveals tissue-specific roles of O-mannosyl glycosylation in brain development. J Comp Neurol. 2011 May 1;519(7):1320-37. doi: 10.1002/cne.22572.PMID:21452199

Hu H, Candiello J, Zhang P, Ball SL, Cameron DA, Halfter W. Retinal ectopias and mechanically weakened basement membrane in a mouse model of muscle-eye-brain (MEB) disease congenital muscular dystrophy. Mol Vis. 2010 Jul 28;16:1415-28.PMID:20680099

Hu H, Yang Y, Eade A, Xiong Y, Qi Y. Breaches of the pial basement membrane and disappearance of the glia limitans during development underlie the cortical lamination defect in the mouse model of muscle-eye-brain disease. J Comp Neurol. 2007 May 10;502(2):168-83.PMID:17479518

Yang Y, Zhang P, Xiong Y, Li X, Qi Y, Hu H. Ectopia of meningeal fibroblasts and reactive gliosis in the cerebral cortex of the mouse model of muscle-eye-brain disease. J Comp Neurol. 2007 Dec 10;505(5):459-77.PMID:17924568

Liu J, Ball SL, Yang Y, Mei P, Zhang L, Shi H, Kaminski HJ, Lemmon VP, Hu H. A genetic model for muscle-eye-brain disease in mice lacking protein O-mannose 1,2-N-acetylglucosaminyltransferase (POMGnT1). Mech Dev. 2006 Mar;123(3):228-40. Epub 2006 Feb 3.PMID:16458488

Hu H. Cell-surface heparan sulfate is involved in the repulsive guidance activities of Slit2 protein. Nat Neurosci. 2001 Jul;4(7):695-701.PMID:11426225

Hu H. Polysialic acid regulates chain formation by migrating olfactory interneuron precursors. J Neurosci Res. 2000 Sep 1;61(5):480-92.PMID:10956417

Hu H. Chemorepulsion of neuronal migration by Slit2 in the developing mammalian forebrain. Neuron. 1999 Aug;23(4):703-11.PMID:10482237 


Faculty Profile Shortcut:

Additional Collaborators

  • Paul Gold, PhD External Icon
    Professor, Biology (Syracuse University)
    Research Interests: Aging, Cell Signaling and Communication, Learning, Memory, and Plasticity, Neurological and Psychiatric Conditions.
  • James Hewett, PhD External Icon
    Associate Professor, Biology (Syracuse University)
    Research Interests: Neuroscience and Central Nervous System Neurobiology and Pathology: Neuromodulators and Epilepsy: Arachidonic Acid Metabolism and Cyclooxygenase-2: Cytokines and Interleukin-1beta: Signal Transduction and Gene Expression.
  • Sandra Hewett, PhD External Icon
    Professor, Neuroscience, Biology (Syracuse University)
    Research Interests: Mechanisms underlying cell death in the central nervous system: the interplay between excitotoxicity and inflammation.
  • Donna Korol, PhD External Icon
    Associate Professor, Biology (Syracuse University)
    Research Interests: Neural mechanisms of learning and memory across the lifespan.
  • Katharine (Kate) Lewis, PhD External Icon
    Associate Professor, Biology (Syracuse University)
    Research Interests: Specification and patterning of spinal cord interneurons; Formation of functional neuronal circuitry; Evolution of spinal cord patterning and function; Dorsal-ventral neural tube patterning; zebrafish development.