Toyooka Lab

Home for Neurodevelopment

Welcome to the home of neurodevelopment & neurodevelopmental disorders!


 ******* Attention *******

We are currently seeking a graduate student.
If you would like to join our team, feel free to contact me (Kazuhito Toyooka, [email protected]). 
Thank you for visiting the website of the Toyooka Lab at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia.

Our team studies the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying healthy cortical development. Current research focuses on identifying genes involved in neuronal morphogenesis, including neurite and spine formation and neural connectivity, as well as the etiology of neurodevelopmental disorders, such as autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and 17p13.3 deletion/duplication syndromes.

We have used an array of techniques to achieve this goal. A few examples are in utero electroporation, time-lapse live imaging of culture neurons and on brain slices, mouse genetic approaches including transgenic and knockout mice, GRAPHIC and FingR techniques for studying neural connectivity, as well as calcium imaging.

Recent Updates

5/2/2023: Links and altmetric badges in Publications were added. Also, Kudos project summary page links in Projects were added.


The cytoplasmic localization of ADNP through 14-3-3 promotes sex-dependent neuronal morphogenesis, cortical connectivity, and calcium signaling

Sarah A. Bennison, Sara M. Blazejewski, Xiaonan Liu, Gal Hacohen-Kleiman, Shlomo Sragovich, Sofia Zoidou, Olga Touloumi, Nikolaos Grigoriadis, Illana Gozes, Kazuhito Toyo-oka

Molecular Psychiatry, Published: Jan 11, 2023

KIFC1 regulates the trajectory of neuronal migration.

H. Muralidharan, Shrobona Guha, Kiran Madugula, Ankita Patil, Sarah A. Bennison, Xiaohuan Sun, K. Toyo-oka, P. Baas

Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 42(11), 2022, pp. 2149-2165

Pyramidal neuron morphogenesis requires a septin network that stabilizes filopodia and suppresses lamellipodia during neurite initiation

Megan R. Radler, Xiaonan Liu, Megan Peng, Brenna Doyle, Kazuhito Toyo-Oka, Elias T. Spiliotis

Current Biology, 2022, In Press

Nuak kinase signaling in development and disease of the central nervous system

Sarah A. Bennison, Xiaonan Liu, Kazuhito Toyo-oka

Cellular Signaling, 2022, In Press

Rpsa Signaling Regulates Cortical Neuronal Morphogenesis via Its Ligand, PEDF, and Plasma Membrane Interaction Partner, Itga6.

Sara M. Blazejewski, Sarah A. Bennison, Ngoc T. Ha, Xiaonan Liu, Trevor H. Smith, K. Dougherty, K. Toyo-oka

Cerebral cortex, vol. 32(4), 2022, pp. 770-795

View all

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