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Welcome to the Giger Lab

Roman Giger is a Professor in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan School of Medicine. His research is focused on molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate nervous system regeneration following injury or disease. To study gene function in the mammalian nervous system, the Giger laboratory pursues a variety of mouse genetic approaches combined with surgical, histological, biochemistry-based, electrophysiological, and behavioral studies. These investigations have led to the identification of novel ligands and receptors that orchestrate neural network assembly, axonal regeneration, myelin development, and synaptic plasticity in the mammalian central nervous system. 

Research Interests: 
Nervous system regeneration, axon-glia communication, synaptic plasticity, nervous system myelination, neuroinflammation.

Recent Publications:


Passino, R., Finneran, M.C., Hafner, H., Feng, Q., Huffman, L., Zhao, X.F., Johnson, C.N., Kawaguchi, R., Oses-Prieto, J.A., Burlingame, A.L., Geschwind, D.H., Benowitz, L.I., Giger, R.J. (2024). Neutrophil-inflicted vasculature damage suppresses immune-mediated optic nerve regeneration. Cell Reports, 43, 113931.


Zhao, X.F., Huffman, L.D., Hafner, H., Athaiya, M., Finneran, M.C., Kalinski, A.L., Kohen, R., Flynn, C., Passino, R., Johnson, C.N., Kohrman, D., Kawaguchi, R., Yang, L.JS., Twiss, J.L., Geschwind, D.H., Corfas, G.C., Giger, R.J. (2022). The injured sciatic nerve atlas (iSNAT), insights into the cellular and molecular basis of neural tissue degeneration and regeneration. eLife; 11:e80881.

Yang, T., Veling, M.W., Zhao, X.F., Prin, N.P., Zhu, L., Hergenreder, T., Liu, H., Liu, L., Rane, Z.S., Savelieff, M.G., Fuerst, P.G., Li, Q., Kwan, K.Y., Giger, R.J., Wang, Y., Ye, Bing. (2022). Migrating pyramidal neurons require DSCAM to bypass the border of the developing cortical plate. Journal of Neuroscience, 42(28), 5510-5521.

Pinskey, J.M., Hoard, T.M., Zhao, X.F., Franks, N.E., Frank, Z.C., McMellen, A.N., Giger, R.J., Allen, B.L. (2022) Plexins promote hedgehog signaling through their cytoplasmic GAP activity. eLife; e74750.

Doherty, R., MacLeod, B.L., Nelson, M.M., Ibrahim, M.M.H., Borges, B.C., Jaradat, N.W., Finneran, M.C., Giger, R.J., Corfas, G. (2022) Identification of in vivo roles of ErbB4-JMa and its direct nuclear signaling using a novel isoform-specific knock out mouse. Scientific Reports, 12:17267.


Yellajoshyula, D., Pappas, S. S., Rogers, A. E., Choudhury, B., Reed, X., Ding, J., Cookson, M. R., Shakkottai, V. G., Giger, R. J., & Dauer, W. T. (2021). THAP1 modulates oligodendrocyte maturation by regulating ECM degradation in lysosomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 118(31), e2100862118.


Sas, A. R., Carbajal, K. S., Jerome, A. D., Menon, R., Yoon, C., Kalinski, A. L., Giger, R. J., & Segal, B. M. (2020). A new neutrophil subset promotes CNS neuron survival and axon regeneration. Nature Immunology, 21(12), 1496–1505.

Kalinski, A. L., Yoon, C., Huffman, L. D., Duncker, P. C., Kohen, R., Passino, R., Hafner, H., Johnson, C., Kawaguchi, R., Carbajal, K. S., Jara, J. S., Hollis, E., Geschwind, D. H., Segal, B. M., & Giger, R. J. (2020). Analysis of the immune response to sciatic nerve injury identifies efferocytosis as a key mechanism of nerve debridement. eLife, 9, e60223.

Garay, P. M., Chen, A., Tsukahara, T., Rodríguez Díaz, J. C., Kohen, R., Althaus, J. C., Wallner, M. A., Giger, R. J., Jones, K. S., Sutton, M. A., & Iwase, S. (2020). RAI1 Regulates Activity-Dependent Nascent Transcription and Synaptic Scaling. Cell Reports, 32(6), 108002.

Lenk, G. M., Jafar-Nejad, P., Hill, S. F., Huffman, L. D., Smolen, C. E., Wagnon, J. L., Petit, H., Yu, W., Ziobro, J., Bhatia, K., Parent, J., Giger, R. J., Rigo, F., & Meisler, M. H. (2020). Scn8a Antisense Oligonucleotide Is Protective in Mouse Models of SCN8A Encephalopathy and Dravet Syndrome. Annals of Neurology, 87(3), 339–346.

Kohen, R., & Giger, R. J. (2020). Greasing the Wheels of Regeneration. Neuron, 105(2), 207–209.