Medical School

Neurosurgery Department

Leading Minnesota to the best neurosurgical care in the nation

Walter C. Low, Ph.D.

Walter Low 180 x 222

Academic Title

Professor

Education

Fellowship
Neuroscience, University of Cambridge, U.K.
Bachelor's
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Santa Barbara
Ph.D.
Bioengineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Contact Info

Email
lowwalt@umn.edu

Administrative Contact

University of Minnesota
Department of Neurosurgery
Mayo Mail Code 96
420 Delaware St SE
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55455

Walter Low Laboratory

Bio Statement

Dr. Walter Low is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and serves as the Associate Head for Research. He earned his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Michigan, and was a National Science Foundation/NATO Fellow in Neurophysiology/Neuroscience at the University of Cambridge in England. He is currently Director of the Research Laboratories in the Department of Neurosurgery. 

Dr. Low was formerly on the faculty at Indiana University School of Medicine where he was the Director of the Graduate Program in Physiology and Biophysics. He has served as a member of numerous grant review study sections for the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, and the Veterans Administration Medical Centers.

The h-index for the scientific impact of Dr. Low’s research publications is ranked above the 95th percentile among faculty in neurosurgery departments in the United States. 

Dr. Low's Complete CV

Dr. Low's Experts@Minnesota Information

Research Interests

Dr. Low’s research is focused on translating neuroscience developments from the laboratory to the clinic. He has been involved in a number of technologies that include neural progenitor/stem cell therapies, gene therapies, neuroprotective therapies, and medical devices for treating a variety of neurological conditions. Neural disorders of interest include ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke, Parkinson’s disease, brain tumors, Alzheimer’s disease, lysosomal storage disorders of the brain, Huntington’s disease, spinal cord injury, and traumatic brain injury. 

Dr. Low’s group was the first to:

  • Demonstrate that the transplantation of cholinergic neurons into the hippocampal formation could restore learning and memory function in a rat model of Alzheimer’s disease
  • Demonstrate the efficacy of immunotherapy for eradicating intracranial tumors in rodents
  • Receive FDA approval for clinical trials in the United States to study the efficacy of deep brain stimulation for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease. 
Clinical Trials:

“Pallidal Stimulation for Parkinson’s Disease using the Medtronic Model 3382 DBSTM Lead and ITREL II System”, FDA IDE #G950133, 1995 (principal investigator/sponsor)

“Unilateral Pallidal Stimulation for Parkinsonian Patients with Prior Pallidotomies”, FDA IDE #G950133, Supplement 1, 1996 (principal investigator/sponsor)

"Subthalamic Nucleus Stimulation for the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease", FDA IDE #G950133, Supplement 2, 1998 (principal investigator/sponsor)

‘’Dendritic Cell – Brain Tumor Stem Cell Vaccine for Treating Brain Tumors’’,
FDA IND #13887, 2010 (sponsor)
 

Research Projects
  • 2013-2014 Institute of Engineering in Medicine, University of Minnesota, “Nanotechnology Development and Applications for Clinical Neuroscience” (co-principal investigator)
  • 2012-2014 National Institutes of Health, “AAV-mediated Gene Transfer to the CNS for MPS I” R41DK094539, (co-investigator)
  • 2011-2016 National Institutes of Health, “Gene Therapy for Metabolic Disorders,” PO1-HD-32652, (Director, Core B; co-investigator, Project II)
  • 2011-2012 National Institutes of Health, “SampleJet Dual Mode Automated Sample Changer with a Liquid Handler 215 and Temperature Control,” S10 RR031545 (co-investigator)
  • 2011-2012 AOSpine, “Transplantation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells for Spinal Cord Injury in the Adult Rat,” (co-investigator)
  • 2011-2012 International Organization of Glutaric Aciduria, “Cord Blood Stem Cells for the Treatment of Glutaric Aciduria,” (principal investigator)
  • 2010-2014 National Institutes of Health, “Fate of Neural Stem Cells During Viral Encephalitis,” R01-NS065817, (co-investigator)
  • 2010-2013 Cancer Experimental Therapeutics Initiative (CETI), University of Minnesota TASC #90033, “Dendritic Cell Vaccine for Treating Brain Tumors – Phase I Clinical Trial,” (FDA IND sponsor, and co-principal investigator)
  • 2010-2012 National Institutes of Health, “Lenti Gene Therapy for Mucopolysaccharidosis” R41-DK085944, (co-investigator)
  • 2009-2011 Innovation Grant, University of Minnesota “Biomarker Analysis System” (principal investigator)
  • 2009-2010 Fesler-Lampert Award, “Aging of Inducible Pluripotent Stem Cells” (principal investigator)
  • 2008-2010 National Institutes of Health, “Transgenic Mice for the Visualization of Dopamine Neurons in vivo” R03-NS060059, (principal investigator)
  • 2008-2010 National Institutes of Health, “Transplantation of Umbilical Cord Blood Stem Cells in Ischemic Brain Injury” R41-NS056626, (principal investigator)
  • 2008-2010 National Institutes of Health, “Assessment of Brain Iron and Neuronal Integrity using Novel T1r and T2r MRI” R21-NS05913, (co-investigator)
  • 2008-2010 Academic Health Center, University of Minnesota, Translational Research Grant, “Immunotherapy for Brain Tumor Stem Cells” TRG #08-02, (principal investigator)
  • 2008-2010 Gateway Foundation, “Immunotherapeutic Targeting of Brain Tumor Stem Cells – A Phase I/IIB Clinical Trial” (co-principal investigator)

Complete List of Research Projects

Leadership Roles

National and International Positions

  • President, American Society for Neural Therapy and Repair, 2005
  • Secretary Elect, American Society for Neural Transplantation, 1994 – 1995
  • Founding Member, American Society for Neural Transplantation, 1994 – 1995

Editorial Service: Science, Nature Medicine, Journal of Neuroscience, Trends in Neuroscience, PLOS One, NeuroOncology, Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy, Journal of NeuroOncology, Cell Transplantation, Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, Neuroscience, Neuroscience Letters, Physiology and Behavior, Surgical Neurology, Stem Cells, Stem Cells and Development, Stroke, Experimental Neurology, American Journal of Physiology, Brain Research, Behavioral Brain Research.

Community Positions

  • Scientific Advisor, Board of Directors, Supporters United for Parkinson's Education and Research (SUPER), Minneapolis, MN, 1992 – 1995
  • President, Society for Neuroscience, Indianapolis Chapter, Indianapolis, IN, 1985 – 1987
  • Executive Committee Member, Society for Neuroscience, Vermont Chapter, Burlington, VT, 1981 – 1983

University Positions

  • Member, Scientific Advisory Board, Powell Center for Women’s Health, University of Minnesota, 2013
  • Senator Elect, University Senate, University of Minnesota, 2009 – 2012
  • Medical School Dean’s Advisory Committee, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2009 – 2012
  • Member, Research Council, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2006 – 2009
  • Member, Faculty Mentor Liaison Committee, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2008
  • Member, Promotion and Tenure Committee, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2004 – 2007
  • Member, Diversity Task Force, University of Minnesota, 2004 – 2006
  • Senator Elect, University Senate, University of Minnesota, 2003 – 2006.
  • Medical School Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee, University of Minnesota, 2003 – 2006
  • Member, Dean’s Task Force on Allied Health, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2003
  • Chair, Nominations Subcommittee, Faculty Advisory Committee to the Dean, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2002
  • Chair, Diversity Subcommittee, Faculty Advisory Committee to the Dean, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2002
  • Neuroscience Strategic Planning Committee, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2001
  • Steering Committee, Molecular and Cell Therapy Facility, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2000 – 2001
  • Senator Elect, University Senate, University of Minnesota, 2000 – 2003
  • Medical School Dean’s Faculty Advisory Committee, University of Minnesota, 2000 – 2003

Department and Program Positions

  • Faculty Status Committee, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2005 – 2008
  • Curriculum Committee, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, 2003 – present
  • Chairman, Neuroscience Graduate Program Seminar Committee, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1999 – 2003
  • Faculty Status Committee, Department of Physiology, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1994 – 1999
  • Chair, Minority Recruitment Committee, Program in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1994 – 1996
  • Steering Committee, Graduate Program in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1994 – 1996; 1998 – 2003
  • Minority Recruitment Committee, Program in Neuroscience, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1992 – 1994
  • Director, Basic Science Teaching Conference, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1996 – present
  • Co-director, Basic Science Teaching Conference, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, 1990 – 1996
  • Department Development Committee, Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1989 – 1990
  • Director, Graduate Program in Physiology and Biophysics, Indiana University School of Medicine, 1985 – 1988
Awards
  • Who’s Who in America, 2002, 2005, 2007
  • Who’s Who in Medical Science Education, 2005
  • Thorne Stroke Award – Minnesota Medical Foundation, 2003
  • Who’s Who in Stem Cell Research, 2003
  • American Men and Women of Science, 2002
  • Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers, 2002
  • Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare, 1997
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Preuss Award for Brain Tumor Research (Resident – Walter Jean; Faculty Research Advisor – Walter Low), 1997
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons, Preuss Award for Brain Tumor Research (Resident – Margaret A. Wallenfriedman; Faculty Research Advisor – Walter Low), 1996
  • Congress of Neurological Surgeons, Preuss Award for Brain Tumor Research (Resident – Eric P. Flores; Faculty Research Advisor – Walter Low), 1994
  • Who's Who in American Education, 1992
  • Established Investigator Award, American Heart Association, 1990
  • National Science Foundation/NATO Fellow, 1980
  • NIH National Research Service Award, 1979
Publications

Dr. Low's publications have received 7,185 citations in the scientific literature. The h-index for the scientific impact of these publications is ranked above the 95th percentile among faculty in neurosurgery departments in the United States. Complete list. Following are the most recent.

  1. Stone, LL, Grande A, and Low WC, Neural repair and neuroprotection with stem cells in ischemic stroke. Basic Sciences 3:599-614 (2013).
  2. Lo Nigro A, Geraerts M, Notelaers T, Roobrouck VD, Muijtjens M, Eggermont K, Subramanian K, Ulloa-Montoya F, Park Y, Owens J, Burns TC, Low W, Sharma S, Sohni A, Crabbe A, Pauwelyn K, Roelandt P, Agirre X, Prosper F, O'Brien TD, Zwijsen A, Hu WS, Binas B, Verfaillie CM. MAPC culture conditions support the derivation of cells with nascent hypoblast features from bone marrow and blastocysts. J Mol Cell Biol. 4(6):423-6 (2012).
  3. Wolf DA, Leander AW, Nan ZH, Braunlin E, Podetz-Pdersen KM, Whitley CB, Gupta P, Low WC, and Mcivor RS, Increased longevity and metabolic correction following syngeneic bone marrow transplantation in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis Type I, Bone Marrow Transplantation 47:1235-1240 (2012).
  4. Misra V, Ritchie MM, Stone LL, Low WC, and Janardhan V, Stem cell therapy in ischemic stroke: Role of intravenous and intra-arterial therapy, Neurology 79:S207-S212 ( 2012).
  5. Snow LM, Low WC, and Thompson LV., Skeletal muscle plasticity after hemorrhagic stroke: influence of spontaneous physical activity, American Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation 91:965-976 ( 2012).
  6. Wolf DA, Hanson LR, Nan ZH, Low WC, Frey WH II, and McIvor RS, Lysosomal enzyme and bypass the blood-brain barrier and reach the CNS following intranasal administration, Molecular Genetics and Metabolism 106:131-134 (2012).
  7. Chun HS and Low WC, Ursodeoxycholic acid suppresses mitochondria-dependent programmed cell death induced by sodium nitroprusside in SH-SY5Y cells, Toxicology 292:105-112 (2012).
  8. Nan ZH, Shekels, L, Ryabinin O, Evavold C., Nelson MS, Khan SA, Deans RJ, Mays, RW, Low, WC, and Gupta P. Intra-cerebroventricular transplantation of human bone marrow-derived multipotent progenitor cells in an immunodeficient mouse model of Mucopolysaccharidosis type I, Cell Transplantation ePub ahead of print (2012)
  9. Dodd K,. Burns TC, Wiesner SM, Kudishevich E, Schomberg DT, Jung BW, Kim JE, Ohlfest JR, Low WC, Transgenic mice expressing luciferase under a 4.5 kb tyrosine hydroxylase promoter, PeerEMed (2011)
  10. Wolf DA, Lenander A, Nan Z, Belur L, Whitley CB, Gupta P, Low WC, and McIvor RS, Neonatal administration of AAV8 vector directly to the CNS prevents emergence of neurologic disease in a murine model of mucopolysaccharidosis type I, Neurobiology of Disease 43:123-133 (2011).
  11. Nikas J, and Low WC, Application of clustering analyses to the diagnosis of Huntington disease in mice and other diseases with well-defined group boundaries, Computer Methods and Programs in Biomedicine, 104:e133-147 (2011)
  12. Nikas J and Low WC, ROC-Supervised Principal Component Analysis in Connection with the Diagnosis of Diseases, American Journal of Translational Research 3:180-196 (2011)
  13. Azan G, Low WC, Wendelschafer-Crabb G, Ikramuddin S, and Kennedy WR, Evidence for neural progenitor cells in the human adult enteric nervous system, Cell and Tissue Research 344:217-225 (2011)
  14. Zu T , Gibbens B, Moncada N, Gomes-Pereira M, Huguet A, Stone MD, Margolis J, Peterson M, Markowski TW, Ingram MAC, Nan Z, Forster C, Low WC, Schoser B, Somia NV, Clark HB, Schmechel S, Bitterman BP, Gourdon G, Swanson MS, Moseley M, Ranum LPW, Non-ATG Initiated Translation Directed by Microsatellite Expansions, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 108:260-265 (2011).
  15. Ramalho RM, Viana RJS, Nunes AF, Low WC, Steer CJ, and Rodrigues CMP, Modulation of apoptosis in experimental Alzheimer’s disease: Therapeutic opportunities for an ancient bile acid, In: Neurochemistry – Molecular Aspects, Cellular Aspects and Clinical Appliations. Pacos A, Nogueria S (eds), Nova Science Publishers, pgs. 103-131 (2010).
  16. Aranha MM, Santos DM, Xavier JM, Low WC, Steer CJ, Sola S, and Rodrigues CMP, Apoptosis-associated microRNAs are modulated in mouse, rat and human neural differentiation, BioMedCentral Genomics, 11:514-229 (2010).
  17. Nikas, JB, Keene CD, and Low WC, Comparison of analytical mathematical approaches for identifying key nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy biomarkers in the diagnosis and assessment of clinical change of diseases, Journal of Comparative Neurology 518:4091-4112 (2010)
  18. Wu A, Ericson K, Chao W, and Low WC, NFAT and AP1 are essential for the expression of a glioblastoma multiforme-related IL-13Ra2 transcript, Cellular Oncology 32:313-329 (2010)
  19. Armien AG, Hu S, Little MR, Robinson N, Lokensgard JR, Low WC, and Cheeran MCJ, Chronic cortical pathology ensuing experimental herpes encephalitis, Brain Pathology 20:738-750 (2010)
  20. Parry GJ, Rodrigues, CMP, Arnanha MM, Hilbert S, Davey C, Keller P, Low WC, and Steer CJ, Safety, tolerability, and cerebrospinal fluid penetration of ursodeoxycholic acid in patients with ALS, Clinical Neuropharmacology 33:17-21 (2010).
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  • Last modified on June 21, 2013