Difiglia Laboratory - Cellular Neurobiology

Marian M. DiFiglia, PhD, is investigating the role of the HD mutation in the molecular and cellular events leading to neurodegeneration.

Marian DiFiglia currently leads a multidisciplinary research team investigating the role of the HD mutation in the molecular and cellular events leading to neurodegeneration. Her research efforts use engineered neuronal cell lines, transgenic animals and the HD postmortem brain for studying the pathogenesis and potential treatments for HD.










Marian DiFiglia

Principal Investigator

Marian DiFiglia, PhD

  • Professor of Neurology,
    Harvard Medical School

Research Scientists

  • Kegel, Kimberly, PhD, - Assistant Professor
  • Li, Xueyi, PhD - Assistant Professor
  • Valencia, Antonio - Instructor
  • Vodicka, Petr, PhD - Post Doc Fellow
  • Wu, Chuyi PhD - Post Doc Fellow

Research Assistants & Technicians

  • Williams, Dana - Technician
  • Bannett, Harrison - Technician


Updated 10/19/2012

Read about and apply for residency, fellowship and observership programs at

Apply for temporary positions (summer interns) through the Bulfinch Temporary Service Web site at Search for all opportunities using ID# 2200484.

All applicants should register with the Mass General Careers Web site at Request a list of current open positions at

For more information, send an e-mail to:

Kimberly B. Kegel, PhD
Assistant Professor in Neurology
MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND)
114 16th Street, Room 2150
Charlestown, MA 02129

NCBI PubMed Link

  1. DiFiglia M, Sena-Esteves M, Chase K, Sapp E, Pfister E, Sass M, Yoder J, Reeves P, Pandey RK, Rajeev KG, Manoharan M, Sah DW, Zamore PD, Aronin N. Therapeutic silencing of mutant huntingtin with siRNA attenuates striatal and cortical neuropathology and behavioral deficits. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2007 Oct 23;104(43):17204-9. Epub 2007 Oct 16. PMID: 17940007
  2. Rubinsztein DC, DiFiglia M, Heintz N, Nixon RA, Qin ZH, Ravikumar B, Stefanis L, Tolkovsky A. Autophagy and its possible roles in nervous system diseases, damage and repair. Autophagy. 2005 Apr;1(1):11-22. Epub 2005 Apr 30. Review. PMID: 16874045
  3. Kim YJ, Sapp E, Cuiffo BG, Sobin L, Yoder J, Kegel KB, Qin ZH, Detloff P, Aronin N, DiFiglia M. Lysosomal proteases are involved in generation of N-terminal huntingtin fragments. Neurobiol Dis. 2006 May;22(2):346-56. Epub 2006 Jan 19. PMID: 16423528
  4. Kalanithi PS, Zheng W, Kataoka Y, DiFiglia M, Grantz H, Saper CB, Schwartz ML, Leckman JF, Vaccarino FM. Altered parvalbumin-positive neuron distribution in basal ganglia of individuals with Tourette syndrome. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 13;102(37):13307-12. Epub 2005 Aug 30. PMID: 16131542
  5. Kegel KB, Sapp E, Yoder J, Cuiffo B, Sobin L, Kim YJ, Qin ZH, Hayden MR, Aronin N, Scott DL, Isenberg G, Goldmann WH, DiFiglia M. Huntingtin associates with acidic phospholipids at the plasma membrane.J Biol Chem. 2005 Oct 28;280(43):36464-73. Epub 2005 Aug 5. PMID: 16085648

MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease

Building 114, Charlestown Navy Yard
Mailcode: CNY B114-2-2003
114 16th Street, Room 2003
Charlestown, MA 02129

Phone: 617-726-2000
Fax: 617-724-1480

Public Transportation Access: yes
Disabled Access: yes

How to Apply for Positions

How to apply for jobs: Send an e-mail to to receive an automated e-mail with full instructions for all types of positions.

Fundraising Contact

Contact Shawn Fitzgibbons in the Mass General Development office at 617-643-0447 or


Anne B. Young, MD, PhD
Director, Massgeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease 
Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School

Directions to MIND Research labs (PDF)

Clinical Appointments, Consultations & Clinical Trials

Please visit the main Neurology Service Contact page for all other contact information.