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Senior Investigator

Barry B. Kaplan, Ph.D.


Building 10 Room 4N222
10 Center Drive MSC 1381
Bethesda MD 20892-1381
Office: (301) 496-4183

Fax: (301) 480-7795
kaplanb@irp.nimh.nih.gov

Dr. Kaplan received his B.A. and M.S. degrees from Hofstra University and his Ph.D. degree in cellular and developmental biology from Cornell University. After completing postdoctoral training in molecular neurobiology at the Andrus Gerontology Center, University of Southern California, he joined the faculty of the Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology of the Cornell University Medical College. In 1983, he moved to the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, where he became Director of the Molecular Neurobiology and Genetics Program. In 1996, he relocated to the NIMH as Associate Director of Fellowship Training in the Division of Intramural Research and held that position until 2013, after which he focused on his research laboratory, which studied the subcellular compartmentation of neuronal gene expression. Dr. Kaplan is no longer accepting trainees.



Dr. Kaplan is interested in the subcellular compartmentation of neuronal gene expression, specifically the composition, trafficking and function of the mRNA populations present in the axon and presynaptic nerve terminal and the role played by micro RNAs in the regulation of the local protein synthetic systems. Recent work employed primary sympathetic neurons cultured in Campenot multicompartment chambers as a model mammalian neuronal system. It is hypothesized that key elements of the cytomatrix, axon transport system, translation apparatus and proteins needed to maintain mitochondrial activity are synthesized locally in the axon, and that the local synthesis of protein plays a key role in neuronal development, regeneration and plasticity.
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  • 1) Aschrafi A, Kar AN, Natera-Naranjo O, Macgibeny MA, Gioio AE, Kaplan BB (2012)
  • MicroRNA-338 regulates the axonal expression of multiple nuclear-encoded mitochondrial mRNAs encoding subunits of the oxidative phosphorylation machinery
  • Cell Mol Life Sci, 2012 Jul 8
  • 2) Aschrafi A, Natera-Naranjo O, Gioio AE, Kaplan BB (2010)
  • Regulation of axonal trafficking of cytochrome c oxidase IV mRNA
  • Mol Cell Neurosci, 43(4), 422-30
  • 3) Natera-Naranjo O, Aschrafi A, Gioio AE, Kaplan BB. (2010)
  • Identification and quantitative analyses of micro RNAs located in the distal axons of sympathetic neurons
  • RNA, 16(8), 1516-29
  • 4) Kaplan BB, Gioio AE, Hillefors M, Aschrafi A (2009)
  • Axonal protein synthesis and the regulation of local mitochondrial function
  • Results Probl Cell Differ, 48, 225-42
  • 5) Gioio AE, Eyman M, Zhang H, Scotto Lavina Z, Giuditta A, Kaplan BB. (2001)
  • Local Synthesis of Nuclear-Encoded Mitochondrial Proteins in the Presynaptic Nerve Terminal
  • Journal of Neuroscience Research, 64, 447-453
View Pubmed Publication