Vanderbilt Department of Neurology

Faculty By Divisions

Aaron Bowman, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Neurology


Dr. Bowman graduated from the University of California San Diego with a Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences in 2000, and was a Lucille P. Markey Fellow in Biomedical Sciences. He began his postdoctoral studies at Princeton University, were he was awarded a Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship. In 2003, Dr. Bowman continued his studies at Baylor College of Medicine where he was awarded a Hereditary Disease Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship.

Dr. Bowman joined the faculty at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in 2006 as an Assistant Professor for the Department of Neurology. He is also a member of the Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development. His laboratory studies the molecular pathology of neurodegeneration, with a focus on Huntington Disease, to understand the interplay between the normal and pathogenic activities of neurodegenerative disease genes.


My lab utilizes a combined approach of molecular genetics, biochemistry, and cell biology to explore mechanisms of neuropathology using mouse models of Huntington Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder caused by expansion of a glutamine-encoding CAG triplet repeat in the Huntingtin gene. The Huntingtin gene is required for normal brain development and maintenance of neuronal function, but its specific actions that contribute to these roles are unknown. We aim to define the mechanisms of neurotoxicity and understand the basis of selective neuropathology, by characterizing the molecular function of Huntingtin under both normal and pathological conditions.


Bowman AB, Lam YC, Jafar-Nejad P, Chen HK, Richman R, Samaco RC, Fryer JD, Kahle JJ, Orr HT, Zoghbi HY. Duplication of Atxn1l suppresses SCA1 neuropathology by decreasing incorporation of polyglutamine-expanded ataxin-1 into native complexes. 2007. Nature Genetics. 39(3): 373-379.

*Lam YC, *Bowman AB, Jafar-Nejad P, Lim J, Richman R, Fryer JD, Hyun E, Duvick LA, Orr HT, Botas J, Zoghbi HY. ATAXIN-1 interacts with the repressor Capicua in its native complex to cause SCA1 neuropathology. 2006. Cell. 127(7): 1335-1347. * denotes co-first authorship.

Helmlinger D, Hardy S, Abou-Sleymane G, Eberlin A, Bowman AB, Gansmuller A, Picaud S, Zoghbi HY, Trottier Y, Tora L, Devys D. Polyglutamine-expanded Ataxin-7 Mediates Aberrant Recruitment of TFTC-type Complexes and Chromatin Decondensation Leading to Photoreceptor Dysfunction in Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7. 2006. PLoS Biology. 4(3): e67.

Bowman AB, Yoo SY, Dantuma NP, Zoghbi HY. Neuronal dysfunction in a polyglutamine disease model occurs in the absence of ubiquitin-proteasome system impairment and inversely correlates with the degree of nuclear inclusion formation. 2005. Human Molecular Genetics. 14(5): 679-691.

Young JI, Hong EP, Castle JC, Crespo-Barreto J, Bowman AB, Rose MF, Kang D, Richman R, Johnson JM, Berget S, Zoghbi HY. Regulation of RNA splicing by the methylation-dependent transcriptional repressor methyl-CpG binding protein 2. 2005. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 102(49): 17551-17558.

Bowman AB, Levorse JM, Ingram RS, and Tilghman SM. Functional Characterization of a Testis-Specific DNA Binding Activity at the H19/Igf2 Imprinting Control Region. 2003. Molecular and Cellular Biology. 23(22): 8345-8351.

Bowman AB, Kamal A, Ritchings BW, Philp AV, Mcgrail M, Gindhart J, and Goldstein LSB. Kinesin Dependent Axonal Transport is Mediated by the Sunday Driver (SYD) Protein. 2000. Cell. 103: 583-594.


Aaron Bowman, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics Investigator,
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center for Research on Human Development
Vanderbilt University Medical Center
465 21st Avenue South, 6140 MRB3
Nashville, TN 37232-8552

Office:  6133A MRB3, 615-322-2651
Lab:  6118 MRB3, 615-322-2630
Fax: 615-322-0486

email: aaron.bowman@vanderbilt.edu

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