Walter C. Low, Ph.D.

Professor, Department of Neurosurgery


Research Interests:

The research in my laboratory focuses on translating neuroscience developments from the laboratory to the clinic. I am involved in a number of technologies that include neural progenitor/stem cell therapies, gene therapies, neuroprotective therapies, and medical devices for treating a variety of neurological conditions. Neurological disorders of interest include ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, Parkinson disease, brain tumors, Alzheimer disease, and developmental disorders of the brain.

Selected Publications:

(For a comprehensive list of recent publications, refer to PubMed, a service provided by the National Library of Medicine.)

For a comprehensive list of publications go to my  profile (

  • Walsh P, Truong V, Hill C, Stoflet ND, Baden J, Low WC, Keirstead SA, Dutton JR, Parr AM. Defined Culture Conditions Accelerate Small-molecule-assisted Neural Induction for the Production of Neural Progenitors from Human-induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.  Cell Transplant. 2017 Dec;26(12):1890-1902.  PMID: 29390875
  • Belur LR, Temme A, Podetz-Pedersen K, Riedl M, Vulchanova L, Robinson N, Hanson LR, Kozarsky K, Orchard P, Frey W, Low WC, McIvor RS. Intranasal adeno-associated virus mediated gene delivery and expression of human iduronidase in the central nervous system: A noninvasive and effective approach for prevention of neurologic disease in mucopolysaccharidosis Type I. Hum Gene Ther. 2017;28:576-587.
  • Stone LLH, Xiao F, Rotshafer J, Juliano M, Sanberg CD, Sanberg PR, Kuzmin-Nichol N, Grande A, Cheeran MC, Low WC. Amelioration of ischemic brain injury in rats with human umbilical cord blood stem cells: Cell Transplant. 2016;25(8):1473-88.
  • Satzer, D, Miller, C, Maxon J, Dibartolomeo C, Dutton JR, Low WC, Parr AM. T cell deficiency in spinal cord injury: altered locomotor recovery and whole-genome transcriptional analysis. BMC Neurosci. 2015 Nov 6;16:74.
  • Terzic D, Maxon JR, Krevitt L, DiBartolomeo, Goyal T, Dutton JR, Low WC, Parr AM. Directed differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells. Cell Transplant. 2016;25:411-24.
  • Satzer D, Miller C, Maxon J, Voth J, DiBartolomeo C, Mahoney R, Dutton JR, Low WC, Parr AM. T cell deficiency in spinal cord injury: altered locomotor recovery and whole-genome transcriptional analysis. BMC Neurosci. 2015 Nov 6;16(1):74.
  • Divani AA, Murphy AJ, Meints J, Sadeghi-Bazargani H, Nordberg J, Monga M, Low WC, Bhatia PM, Beilman GJ, SantaCruz KS. A novel preclinical model of moderate primary blast-induced traumatic brain injury. J Neurotrauma. 2015;32:1109-16.
  • Satzer D, DiBartolomeo C, Ritchie MM, Storino C, Liimatainen T, Hakkarainen H, Idiyatullin D, Mangia S, Michaeli S, Parr AM, Low WC. Assessment of dysmyelination with RAFFn MRI: application to murine MPS I. PLoS One. 2015;10(2):e0116788.
  • Wolf DA, Banerjee S, Hackett PB, Whitley CB, McIvor RS, Low WC. Gene therapy for neurologic manifestations of mucopolysaccharidoses. Expert Opin Drug Deliv. 2015;12:283-96.
  • Neuss ND, Pierson MJ, Montaniel KR, McPherson SW, Lehmann U, Hussong SA, Ferrington DA, Low WC, Gregerson DS. Retinal dendritic cell recruitment, but not function, was inhibited in MyD88 and TRIF deficient mice. J Neuroinflammation. 2014 Aug 13;11:143.
  • Vang S, Longley K, Steer CJ, Low WC. The unexpected uses of urso- and tauroursodeoxycholic acid in the treatment of non-liver diseases. Glob Adv Health Med. 2014;3(3):58-69.
  • Janson CG, Romanova LG, Leone P, Nan Z, Belur L, McIvor RS, Low WC. Comparison of endovascular and intraventricular gene therapy with adeno-associated virus-α-L-iduronidase for Hurler disease. Neurosurgery. 2014;74(1):99-111.
  • Rotschafer JH, Hu S, Little M, Erickson M, Low WC, Cheeran MC. Modulation of neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation during experimental Herpes Simplex encephalitis is mediated by differential FGF-2 expression in the adult brain. Neurobiol Dis. 2013;58:144-55.
  • Stone, LL, Grande A, Low WC, Neural repair and neuroprotection with stem cells in ischemic stroke. Brain Sci. 2013;3:599-614
  • Lo Nigro A, Geraerts M, Notelaers T, Roobrouck VD, Muijtjens M, Eggermont K, Subramanian K, Ulloa-Montoya F, Park Y, Owens J, Burns TC, Low WC, Sharma S, Sohni A, Crabbe A, Pauwelyn K, Roelandt P, Agirre X, Prosper F, O'Brien TD, Zwijsen A, Hu WS, Binas B, Verfaillie CM. MAPC culture conditions support the derivation of cells with nascent hypoblast features from bone marrow and blastocysts. J Mol Cell Biol. 2012;4(6):423-6.
  • Wolf DA, Leander AW, Nan ZH, Braunlin E, Podetz-Pdersen KM, Whitley CB, Gupta P, Low WC, Mcivor RS. Increased longevity and metabolic correction following syngeneic bone marrow transplantation in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis Type I. Bone Marrow Transplant. 2012;47:1235-40
  • Misra V, Ritchie MM, Stone LL, Low WC, Janardhan V. Stem cell therapy in ischemic stroke: Role of intravenous and intra-arterial therapy. Neurology. 2012;79:S207-12
  • Snow LM, Low WC, Thompson LV., Skeletal muscle plasticity after hemorrhagic stroke: influence of spontaneous physical activity. Am J Phys Med Rehabil. 2012;91:965-76.
  • Wolf DA, Hanson LR, Nan ZH, Low WC, Frey WH II, McIvor RS. Lysosomal enzyme an bypasss the blood-brain barrier and reach the CNS following intranasal administration. Mol Genet Metab. 2012;106:131-4.
  • Nikas JB, Low WC, Burgio PA. Prognosis of treatment response (pathological complete response) in breast cancer. Biomark Insights. 2012;7:59-70
  • Chun HS, Low WC, Ursodeoxycholic acid suppresses mitochondria-dependent programmed cell death induced by sodium nitroprusside in SH-SY5Y cells. Toxicology. 2012;292:105-12
  • Nan Z, Shekels L, Ryabinin O, Evavold C, Nelson MS, Khan SA, Deans RJ, Mays RW, Low WC, Gupta P. Intra-cerebroventricular transplantation of human bone marrow-derived multipotent progenitor cells in an immunodeficient mouse model of Mucopolysaccharidosis type I. Cell Transplant. 2012;21:1577-93.
  • Nikas JB, Low WC, Linear discriminant functions in connection with the microRNA diagnosis of colon cancer. Cancer Inform. 2012;11:1-14.

Current Graduate Students:


Jennifer Winters (Stem Cell Biology Program, University of Minnesota).

Former Graduate Students:


Laura Stone (Ph.D., 2015, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Brian Andersen (Ph.D. 2013, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Terence Burns (Ph.D. 2007, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Murray Blackmore (Ph.D. 2005, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Xilma Ortiz-Gonzalez (Ph.D. 2004, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

C. Dirk Keene (Ph.D. 2003, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Marcus A. Westerman (Ph.D. 2001, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

William F. Kaemmerer (Ph.D. 2000, Molecular Pathology).

Elizabeth M. Jansen (Ph.D. 1997, Neuroscience, University of Minnesota).

Ying Jie Li (Ph.D. 1994, Physiology).

Sandra L. Gage (Ph.D. 1991, Neuroscience).

Bonnie J. Tarricone (Ph.D. 1991, Neuroscience).

Stephen M. Onifer (Ph.D. 1990, Physiology).

Lee Phebus (Ph.D. 1990, Neuroscience).


Vibha Savanur, (M.S., 2015, Stem Cell Biology Master's Program, University of Minnesota)

Preethi Swaminathan (M.S., 2014, Stem Cell Biology Master's Program, University of Minnesota).

Deepti Vinodkumar (M.S., 2013, Stem Cell Biology Master's Program, University of Minnesota).

Mayra Quito (M.S., 2012, Biological Sciences Master's Program, University of Minnesota).

Michael Ritchie (M.S., 2012, Stem Cell Biology Master's Program, University of Minnesota).

Mesfin Negia (M.S., 2010, Biological Sciences Master's Program, University of Minnesota).

Andrew Rivard (M.D., M.S., 2005, Physiology, University of Minnesota).

Stephen Spellman (M.S., 2000, Biomedical Sciences, University of Minnesota).

Walter Low