School of Medicine

Wayne State University School of Medicine

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Alexander Gow
Professor, Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Pediatrics and Neurology
313 577-9404; 313 577-9402 (lab)

Alexander Gow, Ph.D. joined Wayne State University in December 2000 as an Assistant Professor with joint appointments in the Center for Molecular Medicine and Genetics and the Departments of Pediatrics and Neurology, School of Medicine. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure (Pediatrics) in 2004. Dr. Gow received his postdoctoral training from Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, from 1990 to 1994 and was promoted to Assistant Professor in 1995. Dr. Gow originally defined the molecular mechanism underlying pathogenesis in the leukodystrophy, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, in 1994 and continues to work on this disease to design drug-based treatments to ameliorate the disease symptoms. He was also first to demonstrate the function of the claudin family of tight junction proteins in forming the functional barrier of polarized epithelia in the testis, cochlea and in central nervous system myelin. Dr. Gow has been a regular member of Study Section B at the National Multiple Sclerosis Society since 2006, has been an ad hoc member of several NIH, NIDCD Study Sections and a Member of Council for the American Society of Neurochemistry from 2002 - 2007. He has been funded continuously by the Multiple Sclerosis Society since 1996 and currently has two MS research grants and is a Co-Investigator on an MS Center of Excellence grant. He has two NIH grants from NINDS/NIA and NIDCD.

New South Wales Institute of Technology, Sydney, Australia, B.S., 1979
New South Wales Institute of Technology, Sydney Australia, M.S., 1983; Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia, PhD, 1990

Brookdale Center for Developmental and Molecular Biology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, 1990-1994

Prior Appointments

Research Assistant New South Wales I. T., Sydney, Australia, 1980-1983
Research Assistant, Queensland University, Brisbane, Australia, 1983-1990
Assistant Professor, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, NY, 1995-2000


Protein misfolding diseases of the central and peripheral nervous systems, Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease, myelinogenesis, demyelination, multiple sclerosis, myelin and saltatory conduction, myelin function and affective disorders, intercellular junctions, tight junctions and auditory function, tight junctions and male infertility, transcriptional regulation of claudin genes.


Gow A, Friedrich Jr VL, Lazzarini RA (1994) Many naturally occurring mutations of myelin PLP impair its intracellular transport. J. Neurosci. Res. 37, 574-583.

Gow A, Lazzarini RA (1996) A cellular mechanism governing the severity of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. Nat. Genet. 13, 422-428.

Gow A, Southwood CM, Lazzarini RA (1998) Disrupted proteolipid protein trafficking results in oligodendrocyte apoptosis in animal models of Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. J. Cell Biol. 140, 925-934.

Gow A, Southwood CM, Li JS, Pariali M, Bronstein JM, Riordan GP, Brodie SE, Danias J, Kachar B, Lazzarini RA (1999) CNS Myelin And Sertoli Cell Tight Junction Strands Are Absent In Osp/Claudin 11-Null Mice. Cell 99,649-659.

Stecca B, Southwood CM, Gragerov A, Kelley KA, Friedrich VL, Gow A (2000) The evolution of lipophilin genes from invertebrates to tetrapods: DM-20 cannot replace proteolipid protein in CNS myelin. J. Neurosci. 20, 4002-4010.

Southwood CM, Garbern J, Jiang W, Gow A (2002) The unfolded protein response modulates disease severity in Pelizaeus-Merzbacher Disease. Neuron, 36, 585-596.

Gow A, Davies C, Southwood CM, Frolenkov G, Chrustowski M, Ng L, Yamauchi D, Marcus DC, Kachar B (2004) Deafness in Claudin 11-null mice reveals the critical contribution of basal cell tight junctions to stria vascularis function. J Neurosci, 24(32), 7051-7062.

Southwood CM, He C, Garbern J, Kamholz J, Arroyo E, Gow A (2004) CNS Myelin Paranodes Require Nkx6-2 Homeoprotein Transcriptional Activity for Normal Structure. J Neurosci, 24, 11215-11225.

Sharma R, Gow A (2007) Minimal role for caspase-12 in the unfolded protein response in oligodendrocytes in vivo. J Neurochem, 101, 889-897.

Sharma R, Jiang H, Zhong L, Tseng J, Gow A (2007) Minimal Role For Activating Transcription Factor 3 In The Oligodendrocyte Unfolded Protein Response in vivo, J Neurochem, 102, 1703-1712.

Awards & Honors
  • Scientific Advisory Committee, C.S. Mott Center for Human Growth & Development, Wayne State University.
  • Research Excellence Award, Wayne State University School of Medicine
  • Serves as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Neuroscience Research
  • Appointment to Board of Experts, Italian Committee for Research Evaluation (CIVR).
  • Treasurer, Executive Committee, Academic Senate, Wayne State University School of Medicine.
  • Member, Sigma Xi.
  • Member, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Study Section B.
  • Career Development Chair Award, Wayne State University.
Other Information

New research funding awarded in 2011

“Developing a Mouse Model of Sensory and Cognitive Deficits for Multiple Sclerosis.” Sponsor: U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command. Alexander Gow, PI.

 “Trb3-mediated Modulation of Oligodendrocyte stress.” Sponsor: NIH, NINDS. Alexander Gow, PI.

New research funding awarded in 2011

“Developing a Mouse Model of Sensory and Cognitive Deficits for Multiple Sclerosis.” Sponsor: U.S. Department of Defense. Alexander Gow, PI.