Warren L. Bostick Professor and Chair, Pathology
School of Medicine
Joint Appointment, Developmental & Cell Biology
School of Biological Sciences
Associate Director, Medical Scientist Training Program
Director, Neuropathology Core, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
CLIA Director, UCI Labs
B.S., M.I.T., 1984, Biology
M.D., U.C. San Diego, 1994, Medicine
Ph.D., U.C. San Diego, 1994, Neurosciences
Phone: (949) 824-9604
Fax: (949) 824-2160
University of California, Irvine
Department of Pathology
D440 Med Sci I
Mail Code: 4800
Irvine, CA 92697
Choroid plexus, forebrain, stem cells, regenerative medicine, development, malformations, neuropathology
My research focus is the human choroid plexus. The choroid plexus is a secretory machine that makes the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), forms the blood-CSF barrier, detoxifies harmful agents, and gates CNS immune cells. As such, the choroid plexus is a major and highly strategic interface between the body and brain with tremendous untapped potential for CNS studies and regenerative medicine applications. To tap into this potential, my lab leverages its patented technology for deriving choroid plexus epithelial cells from human pluripotent stem cells and its access to human choroid plexus samples from the UCI autopsy service and Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. Current approaches include developmental and disease modeling with isogenic iPSCs, single cell omics, and deep machine learning of 2D whole slide and 3D digital images. Other research activities include collaborative studies on forebrain development, brain malformations, neurodegenerations, and preclinical studies of human stem cell transplantation.
Choroid plexus-based regenerative medicine (selected)
Johnson BA, Coutts M, Vo HM, Hao X, Fatima N, Rivera MJ, Sims RJ, Neel MJ, Kang Y-J, Monuki ES. Accurate, strong, and stable reporting of choroid plexus epithelial cells in transgenic mice using a human transthyretin BAC. Fluids Barriers CNS 2018;15(1):22. PMCID: PMC6094443; PMID: 30111340.
Watanabe M, Fung ES, Chan FB, Wong JS, Coutts M, Monuki ES. BMP4 acts as a dorsal telencephalic morphogen in a mouse embryonic culture system. Biol Open 2016;5(12):1834-1843. PMCID: PMC5200901; PMID: 27815243.
Barkho BZ, Monuki ES. Proliferation of cultured mouse choroid plexus epithelial cells. PLoS One 2015;10(3):e0121738. PMCID: PMC4376882; PMID: 25815836.
Lun MP, Monuki ES, Lehtinen MK. Development and functions of the choroid plexus-cerebrospinal fluid system. Nat Rev Neurosci 2015;16(8):445-457. PMCID: PMC4629451; PMID: 26174708.
Watanabe M, Kang Y-J, Davies LM, Meghpara S, Lau K, Chung C-Y, Kathirya J, Hadjantonakis A-K, Monuki ES. BMP4 sufficiency to induce choroid plexus epithelial fate from embryonic stem cell-derived neuroepithelial progenitors. J Neurosci 2012;32(45):15934-15945 (Cover illustration). PMCID: PMC3505486; PMID: 23136431.
Forebrain development and malformations (selected)
Grove EA, Monuki ES. Morphogens, patterning centers, and their mechanisms of action. In: Rakic P, Rubenstein J, editors, Comprehensive Developmental Neuroscience – Basic and Clinical Mechanisms, second edition, Elsevier, Oxford, United Kingdom: in press.
Hong T, Fung ES, Zhang L, Huynh G, Monuki ES, Nie Q. Semi-adaptive response and noise attenuation in BMP signaling. J R Soc Interface 2015;12(107), pii: 20150258 (co-corresponding author). PMCID: PMC4590514; PMID: 25972436.
Chinn GA, Hirokawa KE, Chuang TM, Urbina C, Patel F, Fong J, Funatsu N, Monuki ES. Agenesis of the corpus callosum due to defective glial wedge formation in Lhx2 mutant mice. Cereb Cortex 2015;25(9):2707-18. PMCID: PMC4537429; PMID: 24781987.
Striedter GF, Srinivasan S, Monuki ES. Cortical Folding: When, Where, How, and Why? Annu Rev Neurosci 2015;38:291-307. PMID: 25897870.
Srinivasan S, Hu JS, Currle DS, Fung ES, Hayes WB, Lander AS, Monuki ES. A BMP-FGF morphogen toggle switch drives the ultrasensitive expression of multiple genes in the developing forebrain. PLoS Comp Biol 2014;10(2):e1003463. PMCID: PMC3923663; PMID: 24550718.
Neuropathology collaborations (selected)
Ochaba J, Fote G, Kachemov M, Thein S, Yeung SY, Lau AL, Hernandez S, Lim RG, Casale M, Neel MJ, Monuki ES, Reidling J, Housman DE, Thompson LM, Steffan JS. IKKb slows Huntington's disease progression in R6/1 mice. Proc Natl Acad Sci 2019; pii: 201814246. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1814246116. PMID: 31088970.
Yale AR, Nourse JL, Lee KR, Ahmed SN, Arulmoli J, Jiang AYL, McDonnell LP, Botten GA, Lee AP, Monuki ES, Demetriou M, Flanagan LA. Cell surface N-glycans influence electrophysiological properties and fate potential of neural stem cells. Stem Cell Reports 2018;11(4):869-882. PMCID: PMC6178213; PMID: 30197120.
Monuki ES, Anderson AJ, Blurton-Jones M, Cumming BJ. Response to StemCells Inc. Stem Cell Reports 2017;8(2):195-197. PMCID: PMC5312268; PMID: 28199827.
Piltti KM, Funes GM, Avakian SN, Salibian AA, Huang KI, Carta K, Kamei N, Flanagan LA, Monuki ES, Uchida N, Cummings BJ, Anderson AJ. Increasing human neural stem cell transplantation dose alters oligodendroglial and neuronal differentiation after spinal cord injury. Stem Cell Reports 2017;8(6):1534-1548. PMCID: PMC5469937; PMID: 28479305.
Marsh SE, Yeung ST, Torres M, Lau L, Davis JL, Monuki ES, Poon WW, Blurton-Jones M. HuCNS-SC human neural stem cells fail to terminally differentiate, form ectopic ventricular clusters, and provide no cognitive benefits in an immune-deficient transgenic model of Alzheimer's Disease. Stem Cell Reports 2017;8(2):235-248. PMCID: PMC5312253; PMID: 28199828.
P50 AG016573 (LaFerla, PI) - "Alzheimer's Disease Research Center" (Co-PI)
R01 NS093009 (Chizhikov, PI) - "Mesenchymal-neuroepithelial interactions in the developing telencephalon" (Co-PI)
UCI SoM/SoBS - "A New Cellular Target for CNS and Alzheimer Disease Studies" (PI)
UCOP MRI-19-599956 (Dugger, PI) - "An Enhanced UC Digital Pathology Infrastructure" (Co-PI)
R21 AG064640 - "Human choroid plexus epithelial cells derived from APOE isogenic iPSCs" (PI)
CDPH RFA #19-10538 (Dugger, PI) - "Machine Learning Approaches to Vascular Pathology in Dementia: A multi- institutional cohort analysis in minorities" (Co-I)
Society for Neuroscience
American Association of Neuropathologists
International Society for Stem Cell Research
Orange County Medical Association
Association of Pathology Chairs
Interdepartmental Neuroscience Program
Mathematical and Computational Biology
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
Stem Cell Research Center
Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders
Alzheimer's Disease Research Center
Center for Complex Biological Systems