PLSB, 314
409 McCormick RD LDG DK
Charlottesville, VA 22904
Google Scholar Deppmann Lab Research Summary


I have been interested in the mechanisms underlying long-distance signaling in the context of nervous system development since I was a post-doctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the laboratory of David Ginty (now at Harvard). This experience taught me to integrate my affinity for mechanistic experiments into a broad range of paradigms that examine physiological relevance. Indeed, this experience allowed me to pursue several different aspects of peripheral nervous system development including competition for survival (Science, 2008) and synapse formation/restriction (Neuron, 2010). I have come to appreciate the versatility of the peripheral nervous system for examining how cytokine signaling regulates development and disease. These experiences led me to consider in my own lab how antagonistic cytokine signaling governs nervous system construction and refinement. Indeed my group is actively pursuing the molecular basis for long-distance neurotrophic construction signaling (Nat. Neuro, 2014; J. Neuro, 2015). We are also pursuing how TNFR family signaling suppresses pro-growth cues to promote nervous system refinement (Neuron, 2014). In collaboration with the Guler lab, we are building non-invasive tools to better understand the signaling pathways underlying neural circuit assembly and function (Nat. Neuro, 2016). Finally, we are applying what we've learned about the development of the nervous system to nervous system pathology related to degeneration, pain, and metabolism.


B.S. ​Western Michigan University, 1997

Ph.D. ​Purdue University, 2003

Post-Doc ​Johns Hopkins University, School of Medicine 2003-2009

"My highest educational priority is early engagement of students (high school, early college) through exposure to scientific thought and research."

Christopher Deppmann Associate Professor

Research Interests

Wireless Health
Biomechanics/Injury Biomechanics or Biomechanics and Mechanobiology
Biotechnology and Biomolecular Engineering (Biomolecular Design, Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering)
Human Machine Interface
Biomedical Data Sciences
Wireless and Optical Communication Systems
Magnetic Materials
Fluid Mechanics
Science, Technology and Society

Selected Publications

Evolutionary origins of neurotrophin signaling. Journal of Cell Biology (invited spotlight article, in press). Keeler, A., Deppmann CD.
Death Receptor 6 promotes axon degeneration after injury. Current Biology (in press). Gamage, K.K.,Park, R., Spano, A., Deppmann C.D.
The sympathetic nervous system mediates adaptation to changes in diet by modulating energy storage and liberation to and from fat. Nutrition and Diabetes (in press). Sipe L, #Yang, C., #Jansch, C., Garren, E., Neff, P., Hirsh, J., Deppmann, C.D.
Signaling receptor trafficking in axons and dendrites: molecular regulation in space and time.” Neural Development (invited review) (2017). Barford, K., C.D. Deppmann, B. Winckler.
Emergent role for Coronin1a in neuronal signaling. Vitamins and Hormones: Neurotrophins (invited chapter) (2017). Martorella M, Barford, K. Winckler, B, Deppmann CD.
Genetically targeted magnetic control of the nervous system. (2016) Nature Neuroscience. Wheeler Ma, Smith CJ, Ottolini M, Barker BS, Purohit Am, Grippo RM, Gaykema RP, Spano Aj, Beenhakker MP, Kucenas S, Patel MK, Deppmann CD, Güler AD.
Coronin-1 and Calcium Signaling Governs Sympathetic Final Target Innervation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 35(9), 3893-3902. 2015. Suo, D., Park, J., Young, S., Makita, T., & +Deppmann, C. D.
TNFα/TNFR1 signaling is required for the development and function of primary nociceptors. Neuron, 82(3), 587-602. 2014. Wheeler, M., Heffner, D., Kim, S., Espy S., Spano, A. Cleland, C., Deppmann, CD.
Coronin-1 is a neurotrophin endosomal effector that is required for developmental competition for survival. Nature Neuroscience. 17(1):36-45. 2014. Suo D, Park J, Harrington AW, Zweifel LS, Mihalas S, Deppmann CD.
Caspase-mediated cleavage of actin and tubulin is a common feature and sensitive marker of axonal degeneration in neural development and injury. Acta neuropathologica communications, 2(1), 16. 2014. Suo D, Park J, Harrington AW, Zweifel LS, Mihalas S, Deppmann CD.
Recruitment of dynein to endosomes for retrograde survival signal transport requires specific phosphorylation of the dynein intermediate chain by a Trk/ERK pathway. J. Neuroscience (2012)32(44):15495-510. Blasier, K.R., Mitchell, D.J., Ross, M.W., Smiley, W.R., ^Suo, D., #Park, J., Pullikuth, A.K., Catling, A.D., Deppmann, C.D., Pfister, K.K.
Long distance control of synapse assembly by target-derived NGF. Neuron. 67(3):422-34. 2010. Sharma, N., Deppmann, C.D., Harrington, A.W., ST. Hillaire C., Chen, Z.Y., Lee, F.S., Ginty D.D.
A Model for Neuronal Competition During Development. Science, 320(5874) 369-73. 2008. Deppmann, C.D., Mihalas, S., Sharma, N., Lonze, B.E., Niebur, E, Ginty D.D.
Retrograde Control of Neural Circuit Formation. Cell 127(7) 1307-7. 2006. Deppmann, C.D., Ginty D.D.

Courses Taught

BIOL 4320, 7320 Signal Transduction
BIOL 4911-4915 Independent Research
BIOL 4360, 7993 Neural Development and Cytokine Signaling
BIOL 8270 7 habits of highly effective graduate students


All-University Teaching Award, University of Virginia 2016
Kavli Frontiers Fellow, Kavli Foundation/National Academy of Science 2015
Mead Honored Faculty (Teaching award), University of Virginia 2013-2014
The Hartwell Foundation Individual Biomedical Research Award 2012-2015
Sloan Foundation Research Fellowship, Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 2010-2012

Featured Grants & Projects

“Extrinsic mechanisms governing injury-induced axon degeneration" NIH-R01 (National Institutes of Health- R01NS091617), PI: C. Deppmann, 2015-2020
“CAREER: Emergent properties of systems matching in peripheral nervous system development” NSF-IOS-1453242, PI: Christopher Deppmann, 2015-2020
“REU Site: Multi-Scale Systems Bioengineering” NSF-EEC-1560282, PI: Timothy Allen (Deppmann is one of 10 coinvestigators), 2016-2019
“Understanding the spread of neurodegeneration” Owens Family Foundation, Co-PI (Deppmann and Lukens), 2016-2019
“Magnetogenetic Approach for treating nervous system injury” Coulter Foundation, Co-PI (Deppmann, Guler, and Deal), 2016-2017