Tabrez Siddiqui, Assistant Professor
Summary of Research Interests

The Siddiqui laboratory is interested in learning how nerve cell connections known as “synapses” form and function in the developing and adult brain. Synapses are the fundamental units for information processing in the brain. Evidence from genetic studies, animal models and post-mortem human tissue indicate impairment of synapse development and synaptic dysfunction in neuropsychiatric disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.

Synapses undergo morphological and functional changes in response to neural activity, a phenomenon known as plasticity. These experience-dependent plastic changes at synapses are critical for cognitive processes including learning and memory.  Our work focusses on the roles of cell adhesion and scaffolding molecules in the development, maintenance and plasticity of synapses and how these processes can be regulated in health and disease. We are particularly interested in understanding how specific neural circuits essential for learning and memory form and function in the brain.

To address our questions, we combine multiple interdisciplinary methods ranging from biochemical and biophysical approaches to cellular, molecular and genetic studies, particularly regional and temporal manipulation of synaptic genes in mice brains. We are also developing our capabilities in behavioral studies in mouse models of autism and schizophrenia.

Academic Milestones

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Physiology and Pathophysiology, University of Manitoba (2014-present)
  • Principal Investigator, Neuroscience Research Program, Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine, Health Sciences Centre (2014-present)
  • Research Associate, Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia (2012 – 2014)
  • Postdoctoral fellow, Department of Psychiatry and Brain Research Centre, University of British Columbia (2007 – 2012)
  • Ph.D., Department of Neurobiology, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry, International Max Planck Research School and Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany (2003 - 2006)
  • M.Sc.Molecular Biology, International Max Planck Research School and Georg-August University Göttingen, Germany (2001 - 2003) 
  • B.Sc. Department of Biochemistry, Aligarh Muslim University, Aligarh, India (1997-2000)

Publications

  1. Siddiqui, T. J., Tari, Parisa K., Connor, Steven A., Zhang, P., Dobie, Frederick A., She, K., Kawabe, H., Wang, Yu T., Brose, N., and Craig, Ann M. (2013) An LRRTM4-HSPG Complex Mediates Excitatory Synapse Development on Dentate Gyrus Granule Cells, Neuron 79, 680-695.
    Preview in Neuron
    Song, Yoo S., and Kim, E. (2013) Presynaptic Proteoglycans: Sweet Organizers of Synapse Development, Neuron 79, 609-611.
  2. Pettem, K.L., Yokomaku, D., Luo, L., Linhoff, M.W., Prasad, T., Connor, S.A., Siddiqui, T.J., Kawabe, H., Chen, F., Zhang, L., et al. (2013). The Specific alpha-Neurexin Interactor Calsyntenin-3 Promotes Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapse Development. Neuron 80, 113-128.
  3. Juranek, J.K., Mukherjee, K., Siddiqui, T.J., Kaplan, B.J., Li, J.Y., Ahnert-Hilger, G., Jahn, R., and Calka, J. (2013). Active zone protein expression changes at the key stages of cerebellar cortex neurogenesis in the rat. Acta Histochem 115, 616-625.
  4. Gauthier, J. *, Siddiqui, T. J. *, Huashan, P., Yokomaku, D., Hamdan, F. F., Champagne, N., Lapointe, M., Spiegelman, D., Noreau, A., Lafreniere, R. G., Fathalli, F., Joober, R., Krebs, M. O., DeLisi, L. E., Mottron, L., Fombonne, E., Michaud, J. L., Drapeau, P., Carbonetto, S., Craig, A. M., and Rouleau, G. A. (2011) Truncating mutations in NRXN2 and NRXN1 in autism spectrum disorders and schizophrenia, Hum Genet 130, 563-573.     (* equal first authors)
  5. Siddiqui, T.J., and Craig, A.M. (2011). Synaptic organizing complexes. Curr Opin Neurobiol 21, 132-143.
  6. Siddiqui, T.J., Pancaroglu, R., Kang, Y., Rooyakkers, A., and Craig, A.M. (2010). LRRTMs and neuroligins bind neurexins with a differential code to cooperate in glutamate synapse development. J Neurosci 30, 7495-7506.
    (highlighted by Simons Foundation for Autism Research https://sfari.org/news-and-opinion/news/2010/neurexin-found-to-have-diverse-partners-at-synapse)
  7. Siddiqui, T.J., Vites, O., Stein, A., Heintzmann, R., Jahn, R., and Fasshauer, D. (2007). Determinants of synaptobrevin regulation in membranes. Mol Biol Cell 18, 2037-2046.
    (highlighted by Incytes from MBC, June, Vol 18, No. 6)
  8. Rizzoli, S.O., Bethani, I., Zwilling, D., Wenzel, D., Siddiqui, T.J., Brandhorst, D., and Jahn, R. (2006). Evidence for early endosome-like fusion of recently endocytosed synaptic vesicles. Traffic 7, 1163-1176.
Contact details

Tabrez J. Siddiqui, PhD
Assistant Professor of Physiology and Pathophysiology,
Health Sciences Centre and University of Manitoba

Principal Investigator, Neuroscience Research Program,
Kleysen Institute for Advanced Medicine, SR422

710 William Avenue, Winnipeg R3E 0Z3,
Manitoba, Canada

Phone: 204.318.2564
Email: tabrez.siddiqui@umanitoba.ca

The Siddiqui lab is looking for motivated undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. Interested candidates should send a detailed CV and cover letter to Dr. Siddiqui at tabrez.siddiqui@umanitoba.ca