casaccia lab
epigenetics of neural repair

Our mission is to integrate state-of-the-art technologies, animal models and drug discovery to promote a Center of Excellence for Myelin Repair.

The overall goal is to move towards personalized regenerative medicine and design of new therapeutic strategies to repair the damage and restore function.


Our ability to move, think, perceive, is dependent on a timely transmission of information among specialized cells called neurons. This information is sent via a series of electrical impulses that travel along specialized structures called "axons", whose ability to conduct signal is dependent on the presence of "myelin".

Myelin is a fatty substance composed of lipids and proteins that is an integral component of a cell called "oligodendrocyte".

Oligodendrocytes are the myelin-forming cells of the CNS and are essential for brain function.

Oligodendrocytes originate from neural stem cells that undergo several changes before reaching the stage of late maturation.

The laboratory is working in major research areas:

  • EPIGENETIC REGULATION of gene expression (how the environment affects the ability of DNA to express genes)
  • MYELIN FORMATION in development and in disease
  • MECHANISMS OF NEURODEGENERATION and disease progression in MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS (towards the discovery of new treatments)
  • PERSONALIZED MEDICINE (define the effect of genes, diet, exercise, stress and social interaction in therapy responsiveness and disease manifestation
These areas are focused on the following goals:
  • define the steps leading to the acquisition of oligodendrocyte identity, in order to correct potential deficits due to aging and pathological states
  • understand how myelin forms during development, in order to better design protocols to instruct stem cells towards forming new myelin
  • develop new therapies to preserve axonal function and improve recovery after myelin damage has occurred
  • develop patient-based therapeutic approaches

Patrizia Casaccia, MD, PhD

I am interested in translational research in regenerative and personalized medicine. With the help of my team we made several contributions to elucidating the molecular mechanisms responsible for oligodendrocyte differentiation and myelin formation during development.

Meet Dr. Casaccia

Listen to Dr. Casaccia's segment on NeuroPod (November 2012; neuroscience podcast from Nature)

Multiple sclerosis patient-derived CSF induces transcriptional changes in proliferating oligodendrocyte progenitors. Haines JD, Vidaurre OG, Zhang F, Riffo-Campos ÁL, Castillo J, Casanova B, Casaccia P, Lopez-Rodas G.Mult Scler. 2015 May 6. pii: 1352458515573094. [Epub ahead of print]PMID: 25948622.

Click here for more publications→

Meet the team →

Casaccia Laboratory
Lab Location: Icahn 10-76
Office Location: Icahn 10-70F
Office: (212) 659-5988
Lab: (212) 659-5989
Lab Address:
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
1425 Madison Avenue, Room 10-76
New York, NY 10029

Admin Phone: (212) 659 - 5993
Admin Fax: (212) 849 - 2611
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
One Gustave L. Levy Place
Box 1065
New York, NY 10029

Courier Address:
Mount Sinai School of Medicine
1425 Madison Avenue, Room 9-23
New York, NY 10029