A photo of Ronald Waclaw.

Member, Division of Experimental Hematology & Cancer Biology

Member, Division of Developmental Biology

RASopathy Program

Cancer Biology and Neural Tumors Program

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


I study brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders. In children, these neurodevelopmental disorders can cause problems with speech and language, behavior, motor skills, learning, memory and other neurological functions. Though symptoms and behaviors may change as the child grows older, some disorders may cause permanent disabilities.

My lab studies the development of the anterior forebrain called the telencephalon.

We have two major projects:

  • A study on the molecular genetics of basal ganglia development from the ventral telencephalon.
  • Developing mouse models to study the impact of RASopathy mutations during brain development. RASopathies are rare genetic syndromes that result in several phenotypes including developmental delay and learning disorders.

One of our accomplishments was identifying that a Noonan Syndrome PTPN11 mouse model had altered oligodendrocyte (myelin-forming cells) development. At Cincinnati Children’s, my lab has multiple collaborations including projects with Dr. Kenneth Campbell's lab in the Division of Developmental Biology to study basal ganglia differentiation. We are also part of the RASopathy research program established by Dr. Nancy Ratner in Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology and are collaborating with the RASopathy program clinical director, Dr. Carlos Prada in the Division of Human Genetics to identify and model new gene mutations that cause neurodevelopment disorders.

I received a PhD in the Molecular and Developmental Biology graduate program at the University of Cincinnati. I was enrolled in the post-doctoral fellowship program at Cincinnati Children's from 2005 to 2010. I continued my career at Cincinnati Children's to start my independent research lab in 2010 and have more than nine years of experience.

My work has been published in various publications, including The Journal of the Society for Neuroscience, Developmental Biology, Cerebral Cortex, Neural Development, The Journal of Comparative Neurology and Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences.

Research Interests

Forebrain progenitor cell differentiation; “RASopathy” genes

Academic Affiliation

Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics

Research Divisions

Experimental Hematology and Cancer Biology, Cancer and Blood Diseases


BA: Biology, North Central College, Naperville, IL, 1997.

MS: Department of Biology, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, 1997-1999.

PhD: Molecular and Developmental Biology, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH, 1999-2005.

Fellowship: Division of Developmental Biology, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH, 2005-2010.


Selected Publication

Foxo1 is a downstream effector of Isl1 in direct pathway striatal projection neuron development within the embryonic mouse telencephalon. Waclaw, RR; Ehrman, LA; Merchan-Sala, P; Kohli, V; Nardini, D; Campbell, K. Molecular and Cellular Neurosciences. 2017; 80:44-51.

The Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase Shp2 Is Required for the Generation of Oligodendrocyte Progenitor Cells and Myelination in the Mouse Telencephalon. Ehrman, LA; Nardini, D; Ehrman, S; Rizvi, TA; Gulick, J; Krenz, M; Dasgupta, B; Robbins, J; Ratner, N; Nakafuku, M; et al. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. 2014; 34:3767-3778.

Enhanced MAPK1 Function Causes a Neurodevelopmental Disorder within the RASopathy Clinical Spectrum. Motta, M; Pannone, L; Pantaleoni, F; Bocchinfuso, G; Radio, FC; Cecchetti, S; Ciolfi, A; Di Rocco, M; Elting, MW; Brilstra, EH; et al. The American Journal of Human Genetics. 2020; 107:499-513.

AMPK-Regulated Astrocytic Lactate Shuttle Plays a Non-Cell-Autonomous Role in Neuronal Survival. Muraleedharan, R; Gawali, MV; Tiwari, D; Sukumaran, A; Oatman, N; Anderson, J; Nardini, D; Bhuiyan, MA N; Tkac, I; Ward, AL; et al. Cell Reports. 2020; 32:108092-108092.

Single-Cell Transcriptomics Uncovers Glial Progenitor Diversity and Cell Fate Determinants during Development and Gliomagenesis. Weng, Q; Wang, J; Wang, J; He, D; Cheng, Z; Zhang, F; Verma, R; Xu, L; Dong, X; Liao, Y; et al. Cell Stem Cell. 2019; 24:707-723.e8.

Gsx transcription factors control neuronal versus glial specification in ventricular zone progenitors of the mouse lateral ganglionic eminence. Chapman, H; Riesenberg, A; Ehrman, LA; Kohli, V; Nardini, D; Nakafuku, M; Campbell, K; Waclaw, RR. Developmental Biology. 2018; 442:115-126.

AMP kinase promotes glioblastoma bioenergetics and tumour growth. Chhipa, RR; Fan, Q; Anderson, J; Muraleedharan, R; Huang, Y; Ciraolo, G; Chen, X; Waclaw, R; Chow, LM; Khuchua, Z; et al. Nature Cell Biology. 2018; 20:823-835.

Gain-of-function mutations in the gene encoding the tyrosine phosphatase SHP2 induce hydrocephalus in a catalytically dependent manner. Zheng, H; Yu, W; Waclaw, RR; Kontaridis, MI; Neel, BG; Qu, C. Science Signaling. 2018; 11:eaao1591-eaao1591.

Dek overexpression in murine epithelia increases overt esophageal squamous cell carcinoma incidence. Matrka, MC; Cimperman, KA; Haas, SR; Guasch, G; Ehrman, LA; Waclaw, RR; Komurov, K; Lane, A; Wikenheiser-Brokamp, KA; Wells, SI. PLoS Genetics. 2018; 14:e1007227-e1007227.

A histone deacetylase 3-dependent pathway delimits peripheral myelin growth and functional regeneration. He, X; Zhang, L; Queme, LF; Liu, X; Lu, A; Waclaw, RR; Dong, X; Zhou, W; Kidd, G; Yoon, S; et al. Nature Medicine. 2018; 24:338-351.