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Judith B. Grinspan, PhD
Judith B. Grinspan
Co-Leader, Developmental Biology Research Affinity Group

Dr. Grinspan's research program focuses on oligodendrocytes, cells of the central nervous system that synthesize the myelin sheath required for transmission of nervous impulses. Her research seeks to understand the signaling pathways that regulate oligodendrocyte maturation and how they are perturbed in diseases such as multiple sclerosis, HIV, and perinatal white matter injury.



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The goal of Dr. Grinspan’s research centers on identifying factors in the central nervous system that inhibit the development of mature oligodendrocytes both during development and disease. Along with her colleagues, she has observed the role that oxidative stress and inflammation have on impeding myelination. Consequently, she has identified several families of signaling factors in the central nervous system that are activated by these processes and interfere with oligodendrocyte development and myelination, including bone morphogenetic proteins and the Wnt/b-catenin family of signaling factors.

Using a variety of approaches including cell culture, genetic, and disease models, Dr. Grinspan’s studies focus on factors that inhibit myelin regeneration in multiple sclerosis, including the role of lipid regulation, myelin loss, and oligodendrocyte dysfunction in HIV-associated neurocognitive deficits, including the role of antiretroviral drugs, and factors that limit myelination in perinatal white matter injury.

Dr. Grinspan’s notable career achievements include:

  • Identifying the oligodendrocyte pre-progenitor cell, a link between neural stem cells and the oligodendrocyte lineage.
  • Providing evidence that a family of growth factors, the bone morphogenetic proteins, are elevated in de- and dys-myelinating diseases and are responsible for the inability of oligodendrocyte progenitors to mature and effect remyelination.
  • Illuminating the role for oligodendrocyte pathology in HIV-associated neurocognitive deficits (HAND), a common component of HIV even when properly controlled by anti-retroviral agents, Dr. Grinspan and her colleagues showed that oligodendrocytes can be inhibited from myelinating or remyelinating in the presence of select antiretroviral agents.
  • Receiving the professional Impact award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (2012)


Education and Training

AB, Vassar College (Biology), 1974

MS, Hahnemann University (Pathology), 1977

PhD, University of Pennsylvania (Biology), 1984

Titles and Academic Titles

Co-Leader, Developmental Biology Research Affinity Group

Research Professor of Neurology

Professional Memberships

American Society of Neurochemistry, 1985-

Society for Neuroscience, 1990-

Mahoney Institute for Neurological Science, 1991-

Professional Awards

Professional Impact Award from the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, 2012

Publication Highlights

Roth, L.M., Zidane B, Festa, L, Putatunda, R, Romer, M, Monnerie, H, Jordan-Sciutto1, K.L., Grinspan, J.B. Differential Effects of Integrase Strand Transfer Inhibitors, Elvitegravir and Raltegravir, on Oligodendrocyte Maturation: A Role for the Integrated Stress Response. Glia. 2021 Feb; 69: 362-376, 2021. Epub 2020 Sep 7. PMID: 32894619. PMCID: PMC7736549
Zanno, A.E., Romer,M.A., Fox,L., Golden, T., Jaeckle Santos, L., Simmons, R.A., Grinspan, J.B. Reducing Th2 Inflammation Through Neutralizing IL-4 Antibody Rescues Myelination in IUGR Rat Brain. Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders . 2019 Dec; 11(34): 1-13; PMID: 31839002. PMCID: PMC6913005
Festa, L, Lindsay M. Roth, L.M., Jensen, B, Geiger, J.D., Jordan-Sciutto, K.L., Grinspan, J.B. Protease Inhibitors, Saquinavir and Darunavir, Inhibit Oligodendrocyte Maturation: Implications for Lysosomal Stress. Journal of Neuroimmune Pharmacology. 2019 Nov; PMID: 32894619 PMCID: PMC7736549
Monnerie, H., Romer, M., Jensen, B., Millar, J., Jordan-Sciutto, K., Kim, S.F., Grinspan, J.B. Reduced Sterol Regulatory Element-Binding Protein (SREBP) Processing through Site-1 Protease (S1P) Inhibition Alters Oligodendrocyte Differentiation In Vitro. J. Neurochem. 2017 Jan; 140(1): 53-67. Epub 2016 Aug 2.PMID: 27385127.PMCID: PMC5548300
Jensen, B.K., Monnerie, H., Mannell, M.V., Gannon, P.J., Espinoza-Akay, C., Erickson, M.A., Bruce-Keller, A.J., Gelman, B.B., Briand, L.A., R. Pierce, R.C., Jordan-Sciutto, K.L., Grinspan, J.B. Altered Oligodendrocyte Maturation and Myelin Maintenance: The Role of Anti-Retrovirals in HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders. Journal of Neuropathology Experimental Neurology. 2015 Nov; 74(11): 1093-1118. PMID: 26469251 PMCID: PMC4608376