Walter Low Lab

Walter Low, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and serves as the department's Associate Head for Research. He earned his doctorate in Bioengineering/Neurophysiology from the University of Michigan, and was an NSF/NATO postdoctoral fellow in Neurophysiology at Cambridge University, England. He was a recipient of an Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health, an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, and a University of California Alumni Scholar Award.

Low's research is focused on the use of stem cells for treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Research in the area of cell therapy involves the use of neural transplants to repair neural connections in neuro-degenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

The laboratory is also focused on the study of brain tumors. Primary tumors that originate in the brain represent some of the most malignant types of cancers. Patients diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma multiforme have a mean survival time of 11 months after diagnosis. Our studies of brain tumors have emphasized the development of immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of these tumors. Cancer vaccines consisting of cytokines and tumor antigens are used to stimulate cells of the immune system to recognize and destroy tumors within the brain.

Low's investigation into using the Zika virus to help fight cancer was featured in this Kare11 news feature.

  • Research Focus
  • Our Team
  • Location & Resources
  • Research Focus

    Current Projects

    2017-2019 – Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, “Production of Dopamine Neurons – A Cellular Product for Treating Parkinson’s Disease"

    2017-2019 – NIH MN-REACH Program, “Midbrain Organoid-Derived Product for Treatment of Parkinson’s Disease"

    2017-2018 – Randy Shaver Cancer Research Foundation, “Harnessing the Zika Virus to Target Malignant Brain Tumors"

    2016-2018 – Regenerative Medicine Minnesota, “Generating Human Neural Stem Cells and Progenitor Cells in a Porcine Model Through Blastocyst Complementation"

    2016-2018 – Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota, “Generating Human Pancreas in Gene Edited Pigs"

    2016-2018 – Minnesota Partnership Infrastructure Fund, State of Minnesota, “3-Dimensional Nanoscale Resolution Microscope for Understanding Human Disease Processes"

  • Our Team

    Low lab team

    Laboratory Personnel

    Front row (left to right):  Walter Low, Hui Xie, Maple Shiao, Clairice Pearce, Shivanshi Vaid, Emily Segler, Andrew Crane.

    Back row (left to right): Joe Voth, Zach Miller, Chris Sipe, Wei-Cheng Lu, Kyle Schaible, Matthew Chrostek, and Nikolas Toman.


    Research Associates

    • Maple Shiao
    • Sharbani Banerjee

    MD/PhD Students, Graduate Students

    • Laura Stone, Graduate Student
    • Preethi Swaminathan, Graduate Student
    • Huy Donguyen, Medical Resident
    • Amanda Louiselle, Medical Resident

    Undergraduate Students

    • Hanna Mihalko
    • Garima Singh
    • Andrew Gardeck
    • Amanda Blake
    • Madeleine Howard

    High School Research Volunteers

    • Malu Suresh
    • Sandhya Ramachandran

    Laboratory Manager

    • Kyle Schaible

  • Location & Resources


    Dr. Low’s laboratory is located on the 4th floor of the Lions Research Building on the corner of Sixth Street SE and Oak Street. The Translational Research Facility was recently added to the Lions Research Building.


    Required training for new lab members