Ronald K Liem

Ronald K Liem

Dr. Ronald Liem is a Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology at Columbia University Medical Center. He received his B.A. from Amherst College and his Ph.D. in Biophysical Chemistry at Cornell University. Following post-doctoral work at the University of Pennsylvania and Harvard Medical School, he joined the faculty at New York University School of Medicine. In 1987, he moved to his current position at Columbia University. Dr. Liem first started studying intermediate filaments of the nervous system as a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard. He has published extensively on the neuronal and glial intermediate filaments and identified ?-internexin as another neuronal intermediate filament, in addition to the neurofilament triplet protein. His laboratory also showed that ?-internexin was expressed earlier in development than the neurofilament proteins. His interest in neurodegenerative diseases led to a focus on mutations in neurofilaments linked to Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), the most commonly inherited neurological disorder. He has developed cell and mouse models for the disease. He has also studied the family of cytoskeletal linker proteins called plakins. Knock-out studies of one of these plakins in mice, called bullous pemphigoid antigen 1 (BPAG1) results in sensory neuron degeneration and disorganized neuronal intermediate filaments. Further studies on the domains and functions of the neuronal isoform of BPAG1, as well as a related plakin MACF1 (Microtubule actin crosslinking factor 1) showed that these two proteins are versatile cytoskeletal linker proteins with isoforms that can interact with various cytoskeletal elements, including intermediate filaments, microtubules and microfilaments. In 1985, Dr. Liem co-organized one of the first international meetings on Intermediate Filaments for the New York Academy of Sciences. Subsequently, in 1990, Dr. Liem was the co-organizer and co-chair of the first Gordon Conference on Intermediate Filaments. He served as Chair in 1992 and this conference is still on-going today. Dr. Liem has been the recipient of a Jacob Javits Award from the NINDS and has published over 150 papers.

Affiliations and Expertise

Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, NY, USA


Editors: M Omary & Ronald Liem Release Date: 19 Jan 2016
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