Patricia Maness

Keywords: cell adhesion molecules, neurodevelopment,neural connectivity, signal transduction

Patricia Maness

Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
(PhD - University of Texas, Houston)


120 Mason Farm Road, CB# 7260
3020 Genetic Medicine
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-7260

Maness Lab Website


  • Pogue Fellowship for Scholarly Research: 2012
  • Member NIH Neurodifferentiation, Plasticity, and Regeneration (NDPR) Study Section: 2013 - current
  • Distinguished Investigator Award, National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD): 1999-2002
  • NIH Research Career Development Award: 1988-1992
  • Jefferson-Pilot Award in Academic Research: 1984


How neuronal circuitry in the brain is established during development and refined in the adult is a central unanswered question in neuroscience. Neural recognition molecules expressed on the neuronal surface are pivotal players in developing cortical circuits. Among the most relevant of these molecules to human disease are members of the NCAM and L1 family (L1, CHL1, NrCAM, Neurofascin). Each of these cell recognition molecules has established functions in axon guidance that mediate correct topographic synaptic targeting of axons, while exciting new findings reveal that they also have vital functions in regulating synaptogenesis and plasticity of cortical networks. Importantly, mutations in neural adhesion molecule genes may contribute to susceptibility to human neuropsychiatric diseases such as schizophrenia, autism spectrum disorders, and intellectual disability. To study the normal and abnormal function of neural cell adhesion molecules in brain development and function, our laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach to generate and analyze novel mouse genetic models of neurodevelopmental disorders.


  • Zhang X, Kratz MB, Sullivan CS, Maness PF*, Manis PB*. NCAM regulates the spatial organization of inhibitory interneuron synapses onto layer 2/3 pyramidal cells of anterior cingulate cortex. Frontiers in Neural Circuits. 11 (2017) 1-18. *equal contributors
  • Sullivan CS, Kümper M, Temple BS, Maness PF. The Neural Cell Adhesion Molecule (NCAM) Promotes Clustering and Activation of EphA3 Receptors in GABAergic Interneurons to Induce Ras Homolog Gene Family Member Rho (RhoA)/Rho-associated protein kinase (ROCK)-mediated Growth Cone Collapse. Journal of Biological Chemistry. (2016) 291: 26262-26272. PMID: 27803162.
  • Mohan,V, Demyanenko, GP, Zhang, X, Brennaman, LH, Dharbal KES, Tran TS, Manis PB, and Maness, PF. Neural cell adhesion molecule NrCAM regulates Semaphorin 3F-induced dendritic spine remodeling. Journal of Neuroscience.  34 (2014) 11274-87. PMCID: PMC4138338
  • Brennaman, LH, Zhang, X, Guan, H, Triplett, J, Brown, A, Demyanenko, GP, Manis, PM, Landmesser, L, and Maness, PF. Polysialylated NCAM and EphrinA/EphA regulate synaptic development of GABAergic interneurons in the prefrontal cortex. Cerebral Cortex (2013) 162-177. PMID: 22275477.
  • Demyanenko GP, Riday TT, Tran TS, Dalal J, Darnell EP, Brennaman LH, Sakurai T, Grumet M, Philpot BD, Maness PF. NrCAM deletion causes topographic mistargeting of thalamocortical axons to the visual cortex and disrupts visual acuity. Journal of Neuroscience. 2011 Jan 26;31(4):1545-58. PMID: 21273439
  • Demyanenko GP, Siesser PF, Wright AG, Brennaman LH, Bartsch U, Schachner M, Maness PF. L1 and CHL1 Cooperate in Thalamocortical Axon Targeting. Cereberal Cortex. 2011 Feb;21(2):401-12. PMID: 20576928

Link to all pubs

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