Walter Low Laboratory


Low Laboratory

Walter Low, PhD, is a Professor in the Department of Neurosurgery and serves as the Associate Head for Research. He earned his doctorate in Bioengineering/Neurophysiology from the University of Michigan, and was an NSF/NATO postdoctoral fellow in Neurophysiology at Cambridge University, England. He is currently Director of the Research Laboratories. He was a recipient of an Individual National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health, an Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, and a University of California Alumni Scholar Award.

Low's research is focused on the use of stem cells for treating neurological disorders such as Parkinson's disease. Research in the area of cell therapy involves the use of neural transplants to repair neural connections in neuro-degenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease.

The laboratory is also focused on the study of brain tumors. Primary tumors that originate in the brain represent some of the most malignant types of cancers. Patients diagnosed with grade IV glioblastoma multiforme have a mean survival time of 11 months after diagnosis. Our studies of brain tumors have emphasized the development of immunotherapeutic approaches for the treatment of these tumors. Cancer vaccines consisting of cytokines and tumor antigens are used to stimulate cells of the immune system to recognize and destroy tumors within the brain.

Research Focus

Current Projects

Nanotechnology Development and Applications for Clinical Neuroscience
Institute of Engineering in Medicine, University of Minnesota

AAV-mediated Gene Transfer to the CNS for MPS I
National Institutes of Health

Gene Therapy for Metabolic Disorders
National Institutes of Health

Fate of Neural Stem Cells During Viral Encephalitis
National Institutes of Health

Dendritic Cell Vaccine for Treating Brain Tumors – Phase I Clinical Trial
Cancer Experimental Therapeutics Initiative (CETI), University of Minnesota       

Our Team

Walter Low Lab team

Laboratory Personnel

Pictured, from left: James Xia, Crusoe Nan, Mike Ritchie, Hanna Mihalko, Kyle Schaible, Maple Shiao, Laura Stone, Walt Low, and Andy Gardeck.


Research Associates

  • Maple Shiao
  • Sharbani Banerjee

MD/PhD Students, Graduate Students

  • Laura Stone, Graduate Student
  • Preethi Swaminathan, Graduate Student
  • Huy Donguyen, Medical Resident
  • Amanda Louiselle, Medical Resident

Undergraduate Students

  • Hanna Mihalko
  • Garima Singh
  • Andrew Gardeck
  • Amanda Blake
  • Madeleine Howard

High School Research Volunteers

  • Malu Suresh
  • Sandhya Ramachandran

Laboratory Manager

  • Kyle Schaible 

Location & Resources

Dr. Low’s laboratory is located on the 4th floor of the Lions Research Building on the corner of Sixth Street SE and Oak Street. The Translational Research Facility was recently added to the Lions Research Building.

Required training for new lab members