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.)

The following publications are selected from 223 that have received over 7,185 citations in the scientific literature. The h-index for the scientific impact of these publications is ranked above the 95th percentile among faculty in neurosurgery departments in the United States.  For a comprehensive list of publications go to my  profile ( on the Department of Neurosurgery website.

Stone LLH, Xiao F, Rotshafer J, Juliano M, Sanberg CD, Sanberg PR, Kuzmin-Nichol N, Grande A, Cheeran MC, and Low WC. Amelioration of ischemic brain injury in rats with human umbilical cord blood stem cells: Mechanisms of action, Cell Transplantation (in press, 2016)

Satzer, D, Miller, C, Maxon J, Dibartolomeo C, Dutton JR, Low WC, and Parr AM, T cell deficiency in spinal cord injury: altered locomotor recovery and whole-genome transcriptional analysis, BMC Neuroscience 16:74 Epub ahead of print (2015).

Parr AM, Rockswold G, Ebner TJ, Haines SJ, Bloedel J, Low WC, and Grande A, Basic and translational research in a clinical neurosurgery department: The University of Minnesota experience (1937-2014), (in preparation, 2015).

Burns TC, Schomberg DT, Nan Z, Norby EE, Mahapatra S, Dodd KW, Bromberg E, Ryabinin O, Sovell KA, Serafini M, O'Brien, T, Low WC, and Verfaillie CM, Embryonic yok sac tumors after intracranial transplantation of bone marrow-derived stem cells, Journal of Clinical Investigation (in preparation, 2015)

Hermsen S, and Low WC, Reprogramming of somatic cells into neural cells (in preparation, 2015)

Gardeck AM, and Low WC, Immunotherapy for gliomas (in preparation, 2015)

Banerjee SC, Nan ZC, and Low WC, Characterization of an animal model for mucopolysaccharidosis type II (in preparation, 2015).

Vatassery G, and Low WC, Oxidative stress and cholinergic neuronal degeneration in transgenic Alzheimer mice (in preparation, 2015).

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. PMID: 26546062 [PubMed - in process]

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 Jul 15;32(14):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 Feb 13;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 Feb;12(2):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 May;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 Jan;74(1):99-111.

Terzic D, Maxon JR, Krevitt L, DiBartolomeo, Goyal T, Dutton JR, Low WC, and Parr AM, Directed differentiation of oligodendrocyte progenitor cells from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells, Cell Transplantation, Epub ahead of print (2015)

Stone LL, Low WC, and Grande A. Stem cell therapies for ischemic stroke, in Stem Cells in Neurodegenerative Disease, Ed. by L Lescaudron, J Rossignol, and GL Dunbar, CRC Press, London, UK, pgs. 142-156, 2014

(In preparation) Hocum Stone, Laura L, Xiao, Feng; Rotschafer, Jessica; Juliano, Mairo; Sanberg, Cyndy; Sanberg, Paul B.; Kuzmin-Nichols, Nicole; Grande, Andrew; Cheeran, Maxim; Low, Walter C. (2014). Amelioration of Ischemic Brain Injury in Rats with Human Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells: Mechanisms of Action.

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 Oct;58:144-55.

Stone, LL, Grande A, and Low WC, Neural repair and neuroprotection with stem cells in ischemic stroke. Basic Sciences 2013 Apr 23;3(2):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. 4(6):423-6 (2012)

Wolf DA, Leander AW, Nan ZH, Braunlin E, Podetz-Pdersen KM, Whitley CB, Gupta P, Low WC, and Mcivor RS, Increased longevity and metabolic correction following syngeneic bone marrow transplantation in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis Type I, Bone Marrow Transplantation 47:1235-1240 (2012).

Misra V, Ritchie MM, Stone LL, Low WC, and Janardhan V, Stem cell therapy in ischemic stroke: Role of intravenous and intra-arterial therapy, Neurology 79:S207-S212 ( 2012).

Snow LM, Low WC, and Thompson LV., Skeletal muscle plasticity after hemorrhagic stroke: influence of spontaneous physical activity, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 91:965-976 ( 2012).

Wolf DA, Hanson LR, Nan ZH, Low WC, Frey WH II, and McIvor RS, Lysosomal enzyme an bypasss the blood-brain barrier and reach the CNS following intranasal administration, Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 106:131-134 (2012).

Nikas JB, Low WC, and Burgio PA, Prognosis of treatment response (pathological complete response) in breast cancer. Biomarker Insights. 7:59-70 (2012).

Chun HS and Low WC, Ursodeoxycholic acid suppresses mitochondria-dependent programmed cell death induced by sodium nitroprusside in SH-SY5Y cells, Toxicology 292:105-112 (2012).

Nan ZH, Shekels, L, Ryabinin O, Evavold C., Nelson MS, Khan SA, Deans RJ, Mays, RW, Low, WC, and Gupta P.  Intra-cerebroventricular transplantation of human bone marrow-derived multipotent progenitor cells in an immunodeficient mouse model of Mucopolysaccharidosis type I, Cell Transplantation ePub ahead of print (2012)

Nikas JB and Low WC, Linear discriminant functions in connection with the microRNA diagnosis of colon cancer,  Cancer Informatics 11:1-14 (2012).

Nikas JB, Boylan KL, Skubitz AP, and Low WC, Mathematical prognostic models for treatment response and survival in epithelial ovarian cancer, Cancer Informatics 10:233-247 (2011)

Dodd K,. Burns TC, Wiesner SM, Kudishevich E, Schomberg DT, Jung BW, Kim JE,  Ohlfest JR, Low WC, Transgenic mice expressing luciferase under a 4.5 kb tyrosine hydroxylase promoter, PeerEMed (2011)

Wolf DA, Lenander A,  Nan Z, Belur L, Whitley CB, Gupta P, Low WC, and McIvor RS, Neonatal administration of AAV8 vector directly to the CNS prevents emergence of neurologic disease in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis type I, Neurobiology of Disease 43:123-133 (2011).

Nikas J, and Low WC, Application of clustering analyses to the diagnosis of Huntington disease in mice and other diseases with well-defined group boundaries,  Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 104:e133-147 (2011)

Nikas J and Low WC, ROC-Supervised Principal Component Analysis in Connection with the Diagnosis of Diseases, American Journal of Translational Research 3:180-196 (2011)

Azan G, Low WC, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Ikramuddin S, and Kennedy WR,
Evidence for neural progenitor cells in the human adult enteric nervous system, Cell and Tissue Research 344:217-225 (2011)

Zu T , Gibbens B, Moncada N, Gomes-Pereira M, Huguet A, Stone MD, Margolis J, Peterson M,   Markowski TW,  Ingram MAC, Nan Z, Forster C, Low WC, Schoser B, Somia NV, Clark HB,  Schmechel S, Bitterman BP, Gourdon G, Swanson MS, Moseley M, Ranum LPW, Non-ATG Initiated Translation Directed by Microsatellite Expansions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:260-265 (2011).

Ramalho RM, Viana RJS, Nunes AF, Low WC, Steer CJ, and Rodrigues CMP, Modulation of apoptosis in experimental Alzheimer’s disease: Therapeutic opportunities for an ancient bile acid, In: Neurochemistry – Molecular Aspects, Cellular Aspects and Clinical Appliations.  Pacos A, Nogueria S (eds), Nova Science Publishers, pgs. 103-131  (2010).

Aranha MM, Santos DM, Xavier JM, Low WC, Steer CJ, Sola S, and Rodrigues CMP, Apoptosis-associated microRNAs are modulated in mouse, rat and human neural differentiation, BioMedCentral Genomics, 11:514-229 (2010).

Nikas, JB, Keene CD, and Low WC, Comparison of analytical mathematical approaches for identifying key nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy biomarkers in the diagnosis and assessment of clinical change of diseases, Journal of Comparative Neurology 518:4091-4112 (2010)

Wu A, Ericson K,  Chao W, and Low WC, NFAT and AP1 are essential for the expression of a glioblastoma multiforme related IL-13Ra2 transcript, Cellular Oncology 32:313-329 (2010)

Armien AG, Hu S, Little MR, Robinson N, Lokensgard JR, Low WC, and Cheeran MCJ, Chronic cortical pathology ensuing experimental herpes encephalitis, Brain Pathology 20:738-750 (2010)

Parry GJ, Rodrigues, CMP, Arnanha MM, Hilbert S, Davey C, Keller P, Low WC, and Steer CJ, Safety, tolerability, and cerebrospinal fluid penetration of ursodeoxycholic acid in patients with ALS, Clinical Neuropharmacology 33:17-21 (2010).

Current Graduate Students:

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

Former Graduate Students:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Walter Low