Hollis Lab

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Edmund R. Hollis II, Ph.D.

Edmund R. Hollis II, Ph.D.

Lab Director
Circuit Repair Laboratory
Burke Neurological Institute
Assistant Professor of Neuroscience
Weill Cornell Medicine


Dr. Hollis received his Ph.D. from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Neurosciences Graduate Program in 2002. At UCSD, he trained under Mark Tuszynski, M.D., Ph.D., in the field of spinal cord injury repair. His studies on the corticospinal pathway, the principal motor system in primates, demonstrated that the application of developmentally relevant cues was insufficient for mediating regeneration of the corticospinal motor axons (Hollis et al. Exp Neurol 2009). Rather, he found that by utilizing a gene therapy approach, he could switch the intrinsic cell response from one mediating survival to one inducing axonal regeneration (Hollis et al. PNAS 2009). This was the first work demonstrating a gene therapy approach to modulate the intrinsic growth potential of this critical motor pathway.

In 2009, Dr. Hollis joined the laboratory of Yimin Zou, Ph.D. in the Division of Biological Sciences at UCSD. In the Zou laboratory, he established a spinal cord injury program to study the effects of the Wnt signaling pathway, a critical mediator of spinal cord axon guidance, after injury. He found that ascending sensory axons were sensitized to endogenous Wnt signaling after spinal cord injury and that inhibition of this system was sufficient to induce axonal regeneration and plasticity. Additionally, he found that by blocking Wnt signaling, plasticity of sensory and of descending corticospinal motor axons could mediate functional recovery dependent upon those two systems in rodent models of spinal cord injury.

His work in the Zou lab concluded with the initial studies on how motor cortex incorporates induced axon regeneration within the spinal cord after injury. Through the use of optogenetic mapping of motor output, he demonstrated that reorganization of cortical motor maps were coincident with the axon plasticity and enhanced recovery of corticospinal function observed upon genetic deletion of inhibitory Wnt signaling (Hollis et al. Nat Neurosci 2016).


Postdoctoral Fellowship
Zou Laboratory, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Ph.D., Neurosciences
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)
Year Completed: 
B.S., Biomedical Engineering
University of Southern California
Year Completed: 

Recent Publications

Ashley L Kalinski, Choya Yoon, Lucas D Huffman, Patrick C Duncker, Rafi Kohen, Ryan Passino, Hannah Hafner, Craig Johnson, Riki Kawaguchi, Kevin S Carbajal, Juan Sebastian Jara, Edmund R Hollis 2nd, Daniel H Geschwind, Benjamin M Segal, Roman Giger
Elife . 2020 Dec 2;9:e60223. doi: 10.7554/eLife.60223. Online ahead of print.
Full-Text on eLife
Juan Sebastián Jara, Sydney Agger, Edmund R Hollis 2nd
Front Cell Dev Biol . 2020 Aug 18;8:736. doi: 10.3389/fcell.2020.00736. eCollection 2020.
Full-Text on frontiersin.org
Journal Article
Mohammed H, Hollis ER.
Neurotherapeutics. 2018 Jul;15(3):588-603. doi: 10.1007/s13311-018-0638-z.
Full-Text on Pubmed