Marija Cvetanovic, PhD

Associate Professor, Department of Neuroscience

Marija Cvetanovic

Contact Info

Office Phone 612-626-4918

Lab Address:
3-200 WMBB


Research Summary/Interests

Glial Cells in Neurodegenerative Disease

Our lab aims to understand how different brain cells and their interactions influence the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular we study the involvement of astrocytes and microglia in the pathogenesis of inherited neurodegenerative disease Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1(SCA1). SCA1 belongs to the family of polyglutamine diseases, that include Huntington’s disease as it is caused by the expansion of CAG repeat (encoding for glutamine) in the coding region of Ataxin-1 gene. To do this we are using mouse genetics, cell and molecular biology techniques, mouse behavior, confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. The ultimate goal is to increase knowledge of the cellular and molecular pathways that underlie pathology of neurodegenerative disorders and open new avenues for therapeutic approaches. Another main focus of the lab is to train the next generations of scientists by creating the supportive environment that is conductive to learning, creating and testing new ideas.


Asher, M, Rosa, JG, Rainwater, O, Duvick, L, Bennyworth, M, Lai, RY; CRC-SCA, Kuo, SH & Cvetanovic, M 2020, ‘Cerebellar contribution to the cognitive alterations in SCA1: evidence from mouse models’ Hum Mol Genet, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 117-131.

Ferro, A, Sheeler, C & Cvetanovic, M 2019, ‘Microglial Self-Recognition STINGs in A-T Neurodegeneration’ Trends Neurosci, vol. 42, no. 11, pp. 753-755.

Ferro, A, Sheeler, C, Rosa, JG & Cvetanovic, M 2019, 'Role of Microglia in Ataxias' Journal of Molecular Biology, vol. 431, no. 9, pp. 1792-1804.

Mellesmoen, A, Sheeler, C, Ferro, A, Rainwater, O & Cvetanovic, M 2018, 'Brain derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) delays onset of pathogenesis in transgenic mouse model of spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1)' Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, vol. 12, 509.

Kim, JH, Lukowicz, A, Qu, W, Johnson, A & Cvetanovic, M 2018, 'Astroglia contribute to the pathogenesis of spinocerebellar ataxia Type 1 (SCA1) in a biphasic, stage-of-disease specific manner' GLIA, vol. 66, no. 9, pp. 1972-1987.

Ferro, A, Qu, W, Lukowicz, A, Svedberg, D, Johnson, A & Cvetanovic, M 2018, 'Inhibition of NF-?B signaling in IKK?F/F;LysM Cre mice causes motor deficits but does not alter pathogenesis of Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1' PLoS One, vol. 13, no. 7, e0200013.

Qu, W, Johnson, A, Kim, JH, Lukowicz, A, Svedberg, D & Cvetanovic, M 2017, 'Inhibition of colony-stimulating factor 1 receptor early in disease ameliorates motor deficits in SCA1 mice' Journal of Neuroinflammation, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 107.

Veselinovi?, A, Cvetanovi?, M, Miloševi?, Z & Veselinovi?, D 2017, 'Intraoperative and postoperative complications of phacoemulsification in cataract eyes with pseudoexfoliation syndrome' Srpski Arhiv Za Celokupno Lekarstvo, vol. 145, no. 3-4, pp. 124-128.

Stanojlovic, M, Pang, X, Lin, Y, Stone, SM, Cvetanovic, M & Lin, W 2016, 'Inhibition of vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 exacerbates loss of lower motor neurons and axons during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis' PloS one, vol. 11, no. 7, e0160158.

Cvetanovic, M, Hu, YS & Opal, P 2017, 'Mutant Ataxin-1 Inhibits Neural Progenitor Cell Proliferation in SCA1' Cerebellum, vol. 16, no. 2, pp. 340-347.



NSCI 4105: Neurobiology Laboratory I (Fall and Summer semesters)