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Maya Shelly

Faculty Profile Shelly


Associate Professor
PhD, Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel
Phone: (631) 632-8684



Maya Shelly attended the Weizmann Institute of Science, Rehovot, Israel, and received a Ph.D. in 2004. She was a postdoctoral scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, from 2004 to 2010. In 2010 she joined the faculty of the Department of Neurobiology & Behavior at Stony Brook. She has served as Ad Hoc reviewer for Journal of Developmental Neurobiology. She is currently a member of the Society for Neuroscience.

Research Statement

Our laboratory seeks to understand the complex molecular and cellular events that establish neuronal morphology and function during embryonic development. An early and essential event in mammalian embryonic brain development is neuronal polarization, in which distinct axonal and dendritic compartments are formed. Axons and dendrites differ in the molecular compositions of their cytoplasm, cytoskeleton, and plasmamembrane. These differences underlie the unique morphology and function of these compartments, and are responsible for the directed information flow in the brain. Abberations in neuron poloarization lead to developmental neuropathologies, including intellectual and motor disabilities, epilepsy, and autism spectrumdisorders. Our lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms for the critical events in neuronal polarization during normal development and in disease pathologies.

  • Publications

    Szczurkowska, J., Lee, S.I., Guo, A., Cwetsch, A.W., Khan, T., Rao, S., Walz, G., Huber, T.B., Cancedda, L., Pautot, S., Shelly, M. (2020) A Localized Scaffold for cGMP Increase Is Required for Apical Dendrite Development. Cell Reports 31: 107519.

    Rao, S., Kirschen, G.W.,Szczurkowska, J., DiAntonio, A.,Wang, J., Ge, S., and Shelly, M. (2018) Repositioning of somatic Golgi apparatus is essential for the dendritic establishment of adult-born hippocampal neurons. Journal of Neuroscience. 38, 631-647

    Suarato, G., Lee,S.I., Li, W., Rao, S., Khan, T., Meng,Y., and Shelly, M. (2016). Micellar nanocomplxes for biomagnetic delivery of intracellular proteins to dictatte axon formation during neuronal development. Biomaterials. 112, 176-191

    Boly, G., Szczurkowska, J., Tamagno, I., Shelly, M., Constestabile, A., and Cancedda, L., (2013). Non-hyperpolarization GABA b Receptors Regulate Neuronal Migration and Axon/Dendrite Growth and specification by cAMP/LKB1 Pathway. Nature Communications. 4, 1800.

    Shelly, M., Cancedda, L., Kim, B.K., Popescu, A., Cheng, P.L., Gao, HF. and Poo, MM. (2011) Semaphorin3A Regulates Neuronal Polarization by Suppressing Axon Formation and Promoting Dendrite Growth.  Neuron   71: 433-446.

    Shelly, M., and Poo. MM. (2011) Role of LKB1 - SAD/MARK Pathway in Neuronal Polarity.   Dev. Neurobiol.   71: 508-527.

    Cheng, P.L., Lu, H., Shelly, M., Gao, H.F., Poo. MM. (2011) Phosphorylation of E3 Ligase Smurf1 Switches its Substrate Preference in Support of Axon Development.   Neuron   69: 231-243.

    Shelly, M., Kim, B.K., Heilshorn, S.C., Cancedda, L., Gao, H.F., and Poo, MM. (2010) Local and Long-Range Reciprocal Regulation of cAMP and cGMP in axon/dendrite formation.  Science   327: 547-552.

    Shelly, M., Cancedda, L., Heilshorn, S., Sumbre, G. and Poo, MM. (2007) LKB1/STRAD promotes axon initiation during neuronal polarization.   Cell   129: 565-577 .

  • Laboratory Personnel

    Joanna Szczurkowska, Post Doctoral Fellow

    Alan Guo, Graduate Student

  • Alumni

    Seong-ll Lee, Postdoctoral Fellow

    Sneha Rao, Graduate Student

    Giulia Suarato, Graduate Student (Material Science and Engineering)