Neil A. Shneider, MD, PhD

Departments And Divisions

  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Neuromuscular Medicine
  • Associate Professor of Neurology
  • Director, Eleanor and Lou Gehrig ALS Center
  • Director, ALSA/ALS Clinic
Neil A. Shneider, <span>MD, PhD</span>

Models and Mechanisms of Motor Neuron Degeneration in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease of the motor system that primarily involves spinal and bulbar motor neurons and their descending, corticospinal inputs.  ALS is genetically complex, and can be caused by mutations in a large and growing number of genes encoding proteins of diverse function.  Using mouse genetics, we have generated and characterized several animal and cellular models of ALS to explore molecular mechanisms of disease and to elucidate pathways of motor neuron degeneration that may be targets for drug discovery.  Work in the lab focuses on:

• the role of mutant FUS, TDP-43 and related ALS-associated RNA binding proteins in motor neuron degeneration.  In particular, we are interested in the propensity of these proteins to form abnormal ribonucleoprotein assemblies that are selectively toxic to motor neurons.  We use a combination of molecular, biochemical and computational methods to explore mechanisms of disease onset and progression in ALS

• molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration caused by a hexanucleotide expansion in the gene C9orf72, the most common cause of familial ALS and frontotemporal dementia (FTD)

• the role of ALS mutant astrocytes and oligodendrocytes in the pathogenesis of ALS

• the role of motor neuron excitability and synaptic excitation in motor neuron dysfunction and degeneration

• genetic studies in novel animal and cellular models of ALS to validate promising pathways of disease; in vitro studies to screen small molecules and identify candidate therapeutics for ALS

In addition, our group is interested and involved in patient-based basic, translational and clinical research that focuses on:

• whole genome sequencing of ALS patients to elucidate novel disease pathways and potential targets

• phenotype-genotype correlation studies

• the generation and characterization of human, cellular models of ALS based on induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) lines from clinically well-characterized patients

• early phase drug discovery

Board Certifications

  • Neurology

Areas of Expertise

  • ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis)
  • Neuromuscular Disease
  • Lou Gehrig's Disease

    Education & Training

  • BA, Harvard College
  • MD, Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • PhD, Columbia University, NY


  • Neurological Institute of New York

    710 West 168th Street
    Floor: 3
    New York, NY 10032
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-1319
  • ColumbiaDoctors Tarrytown

    155 White Plains Road
    Tarrytown, NY 10591
    For new and current patient appointments, call:
    (212) 305-1319

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

Insurance Programs

Please contact the provider's office directly to verify that your particular insurance is accepted.

  • Aetna [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, NY Signature, NYP Employee Plan, POS, PPO, Signature Administrators, Student Health]
  • Affinity [Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • AgeWell [Medicare Managed Care, Special Needs Plan]
  • Amida Care [Special Needs Plan]
  • Capital District Physician Health Plan [Capital District Physician Health Plan]
  • Cigna [EPO, Great West, HMO, POS, PPO]
  • Emblem/GHI [Medicare Managed Care, PPO]
  • Emblem/HIP [ConnectiCare, EPO, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO, Select Care (Exchange), Vytra]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield [EPO, HMO, Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]
  • Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield HealthPlus [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Fidelis Care [Child/Family Health Plus, Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]
  • Healthfirst [Child/Family Health Plus, Leaf (Exchange), Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]
  • Local 1199 [Local 1199]
  • MagnaCare [MagnaCare]
  • Multiplan [Multiplan]
  • MVP Health Care [Child/Family Health Plus, Essential Plan, HMO, Medicaid Managed Care]
  • Oxford Health Plans [Freedom, Liberty, Medicare Managed Care]
  • UnitedHealthcare [Columbia University Employee Plan, Compass (Exchange), HMO, Medicaid (Community Plan), Medicare Managed Care, POS, PPO]
  • VNSNY CHOICE [Medicare Managed Care, SelectHealth, Special Needs Plan]
  • WellCare [Medicaid Managed Care, Medicare Managed Care]

Lab Locations

  • College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S)

    630 West 168th Street
    P&S 5-432
    New York, NY 10032
    (212) 342-3109
    Lab Phone:
    (212) 342-3107

Honors & Awards

2012 Stephen Q. Shafer Award for Humanism in Neurology

Research Interests

  • Neural Degeneration and Repair
  • Models of Neurological Disorders
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Genetic Basis of Neurological Disease


Selected publications:

  • Aarti Sharma, Alexander K. Lyashchenko, Lei Lu, Sara Ebrahimi Nasrabady, Margot Elmaleh, Monica Mendelsohn, Adriana Nemes, Juan Carlos Tapia, George Z. Mentis, Neil A. Shneider. ALS-Associated Mutant FUS Induces Selective Motor Neuron Degeneration through Toxic Gain of Function.  Nature Communications. 2016 Feb 4;7:10465. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10465. PubMed PMID: 26842965.
  • Valerie C. Siembab, Laura Gomez-Perez, Travis M. Rotterman, Neil A. Shneider, Francisco J. Alvarez (2015).  Role of Primary Afferents in the Developmental Regulation of Motor Axon Synapse Numbers on Renshaw Cells.  Journal of Comparative Neurology. 2015 Dec 11.
  • Tetsuro Murakami, Seema Qamar, Julie Qiaojin Lin, Gabriele S. Kaminski Schierle, Eric Rees, Akinori Miyashita, Ana R. Costa, Roger B. Dodd,  Fiona T.S. Chan, Claire H. Michel, Deborah Kronenberg-Versteeg, Yi Li, Seung-Pil Yang, William Meadows, Rodylyn Rose Ferry, Liang Dong, Gian Gaetano Tartaglia, Giorgio Favrin, Wen-Lang Lin, Dennis W. Dickson, Mei Zhen, Gerold Schmitt-Ulms, Paul E. Fraser, Neil A. Shneider, Christine Holt, Michele Vendruscolo, Clemens F. Kaminski, Peter St George-Hyslop (2015).  FUS mutations induce formation of irreversible hydrogel-like assemblies that impair RNP granule function.  Neuron 2015 Oct 28. pii: S0896-6273(15)00924-1.
  • Elizabeth T. Cirulli, Brittany N. Lasseigne, Slavé Petrovski, Peter C. Sapp, Patrick A. Dion, Claire S. Leblond, Julien Couthouis, Yi-Fan Lu, Quanli Wang, Brian J. Krueger, Zhong Ren, Jonathan Keebler, Yujun Han, Shawn E. Levy, Braden E. Boone, Jack R. Wimbish, Lindsay L. Waite, Angela L. Jones, John P. Carulli, Aaron G. Day-Williams, John F. Staropoli, Winnie W. Xin, Alessandra Chesi, Alya R. Raphael, Diane McKenna-Yasek, Janet Cady, J.M.B. Vianney de Jong, Kevin P. Kenna, Bradley N. Smith, Simon Topp, Jack Miller, Athina Gkazi, FALS Sequencing Consortium, Ammar Al-Chalabi, Leonard H. van den Berg, Jan Veldink, Vincenzo Silani, Nicola Ticozzi, Christopher E. Shaw, Robert H. Baloh, Stanley Appel, Ericka Simpson, Clotilde Lagier-Tourenne, Stefan M. Pulst, Summer Gibson, John Q. Trojanowski, Lauren Elman, Leo McCluskey, Murray Grossman, Neil A. Shneider, Wendy K. Chung, John M. Ravits, Jonathan D. Glass, Katherine B. Sims, Vivianna M. Van Deerlin, Tom Maniatis, Sebastian D. Hayes, Alban Ordureau, Sharan Swarup, John Landers, Frank Baas, Andrew S. Allen, Richard S. Bedlack, J. Wade Harper, Aaron D. Gitler, Guy A. Rouleau, Robert Brown, Matthew B. Harms, Gregory M. Cooper, Tim Harris, Richard M. Myers, David B. Goldstein (2015).   Exome sequencing in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis identifies risk genes and pathways. Science 2015 Mar 27;347(6229):1436-41.
  • Xinmei Wen, Wenzhi Tan, Thomas Westergard, Karthik Krishnamurthy, Shashirekha S. Markandaiah,Yingxiao Shi, Shaoyu Lin, Neil A. Shneider, John Monaghan, Udai B. Pandey, Piera Pasinelli,Justin K. Ichida, Davide Trotti (2014). Antisense Proline-Arginine RAN Dipeptides Linked to C9ORF72-ALS/FTD Form Toxic Nuclear Aggregates that Initiate In Vitro and In Vivo Neuronal Death.  Neuron 84 (6), 17 December 2014, 1213–1225.

For a complete list of publications, please visit