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Michael Shifman, PhD


Michael Shifman, PhD


Assistant Professor, Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center

Telephone: 215-926-9321 (Internal: 7-9321)

Email: michael.shifman@temple.edu



Shriners Hospitals Pediatric Research Center


Educational Background:


MS (Genetics), Kharkov State University, Kharkov, USSR, 1977


PhD (Neurobiology), Institute of Biophysics, Academy of Science Moscow, USSR, 1981-1986


Postdoctoral Fellowship, research training in neurological rehabilitation, Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA, 1997-2000


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professional affiliations:

  • Neurotrauma Society
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • New York Academy of Science
  • Society for Neuroscience

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The goal of my research is to investigate the connections between expression of axonal guidance receptors and neuronal regeneration after spinal cord injury. Our laboratory uses larval lampreys as experimental models of spinal cord injury and regeneration because of several features of lamprey CNS that make them uniquely suitable for regeneration research. My laboratory is one of the few that study cell and molecular biology of lamprey spinal cord regeneration. In particular, we are focusing on the role of axonal guidance molecules – netrins, semaphorins and RGM in spinal cord regeneration. We have cloned several axonal guidance molecules and their receptors from lamprey CNS and showed that their expression correlated with the ability of neurons to regenerate axons after spinal cord transection. We also study the role of microglia cells in lamprey axonal regeneration. In addition, my laboratory has focused on the retrograde neuronal death after spinal cord injury and recently showed selective apoptotic death of the spinal cord – projecting neurons after spinal cord transection.


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Recent Medically Related Publications, Obtained from PubMed (Click on PubMed ID to view abstract)

25350040. Barreiro-Iglesias A, Zhang G, Selzer ME, Shifman MI, Complete spinal cord injury and brain dissection protocol for subsequent wholemount in situ hybridization in larval sea lamprey. J Vis Exp :92(e51494)2014 Oct 14

21421025. Laramore C, Maymind E, Shifman MI, Expression of neurotrophin and its tropomyosin-related kinase receptors (Trks) during axonal regeneration following spinal cord injury in larval lamprey. Neuroscience 183:(265-77)2011 Jun 2

20417258. Barreiro-Iglesias A, Laramore C, Shifman MI, Anadón R, Selzer ME, Rodicio MC, The sea lamprey tyrosine hydroxylase: cDNA cloning and in situ hybridization study in the brain. Neuroscience 168:3(659-69)2010 Jul 14

19268666. Shifman MI, Yumul RE, Laramore C, Selzer ME, Expression of the repulsive guidance molecule RGM and its receptor neogenin after spinal cord injury in sea lamprey. Exp Neurol 217:2(242-51)2009 Jun

18634003. Shifman MI, Zhang G, Selzer ME, Delayed death of identified reticulospinal neurons after spinal cord injury in lampreys. J Comp Neurol 510:3(269-82)2008 Sep 20

17278142. Shifman MI, Selzer ME, Differential expression of class 3 and 4 semaphorins and netrin in the lamprey spinal cord during regeneration. J Comp Neurol 501:4(631-46)2007 Apr 1

16680764. Shifman MI, Selzer ME, Semaphorins and their receptors in lamprey CNS: Cloning, phylogenetic analysis, and developmental changes during metamorphosis. J Comp Neurol 497:1(115-32)2006 Jul 1

11228949. Shifman MI, Selzer ME, Expression of the netrin receptor UNC-5 in lamprey brain: modulation by spinal cord transection. Neurorehabil Neural Repair 14:1(49-58)2000

11163407. Shifman MI, Selzer ME, In situ hybridization in wholemounted lamprey spinal cord: localization of netrin mRNA expression. J Neurosci Methods 104:1(19-25)2000 Dec 15

8531488. Shifman MI, Stein DG, A reliable and sensitive method for non-radioactive northern blot analysis of nerve growth factor mRNA from brain tissues. J Neurosci Methods 59:2(205-8)1995 Jul

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