Emily Spaulding


  • The University of Maine, 2019, Ph.D.; Gordon College, 2010, M.Ed.; Gordon College, 2005, B.S.

Brief Biography:

The Spaulding lab uses the nematode C. elegans to understand how biomolecular condensation contributes to cellular organization within neurons and how its disruption might lead to neurological disease. Biomolecular condensates (BMCs) are collections of functionally related proteins and RNAs that are not enclosed in a membrane. For example, the nucleolus is the largest BMC in cells and is comprised of hundreds of proteins and RNAs that participate in the process of ribosome biogenesis. With their highly polarized morphology, neurons are especially reliant on proper cell organization and BMCs are known to function in neuronal development and synaptic signaling. Emerging evidence supports BMC disruption as a driver of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Combining precise CRISPR/Cas9-mediated editing of endogenous genes with super-resolution imaging of living C. elegans we are uncovering new functions of BMCs in neurons with the goal of providing new therapeutic targets for neurodegenerative disease.


  • Spaulding, E.L., Feidler, A.M., Cook, L.A., Updike. D.L. (2022). RG/RGG repeats in the C. elegans homologs of Nucleolin and GAR1 contribute to nucleolar organization. Nature Communications, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-34225-5.
  • Rossor, A.M., Kapoor, M., Wellington, H., Spaulding, E.L., Sleigh, J.N., Burgess, R.W., Laura, M., Zetterberg, H., Bacha, A., Wu, X., Heslegrave, A., Shy, M.E., Reilly, M.M. (2022). A longitudinal and cross-sectional study of plasma neurofilament light chain concentration in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. Journal of Peripheral Nervous System, 27(1):50-57.
  • Jennings, M.J., Kagiava, A., Vendredy, L., Spaulding, E.L., Stavrou, M., Hathazi, D., Gruneboom, A., De Winter, V., Gess, B., Schara, U., Pogoryelova, O., Lochmuller, H., Borchers, C., Roos, A., Burgess, R.W., Timmerman, V., Kleopa, K.A., Horvath, R. (2022) NCAM1 and GDF15 are biomarkers of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease in patients and mice. Brain, DOI: 10.1093/brain/awac055.
  • Spaulding, E. L., Hines, T.J., Bais, P., Tadenev, A.L.D, Schneider, R., Jewett, D., Pattavina, Pattavina, B., Pratt, S.L., Morelli, K.H., Stum, M.G., Hill, D.P., Gobet, C., Pipis, M., Reilly, M.M., Jennings, M.J., Horvath, R., Bai, Y., Shy, M.E., Alvarez-Castelao, B., Schuman, E.M., Bogdanik, L.P., Storkebaum, E., Burgess, R. W. (2021). The integrated stress response contributes to tRNA synthetase-associated peripheral neuropathy. Science, 373, 1156-1161.
  • Zuko, A., Mallik, M., Thompson, R., Spaulding, E.L., Wienand, A., Been, M., Tadenev, A.L.D., van Bakel, N., Sijlmans, C., Santos, L., Bussman, J., Catinozzi, M., Das, S., Kulshrestha, D., Burgess, R. W., Ignatova, Z., Storkebaum, E. (2021). tRNA overexpression rescues peripheral neuropathy caused by mutations in tRNA synthetase. Science, 373, 1161-1166.
  • Morelli, K., Griffin, L., Pyne, N., Wallace, L., Fowler, Al., Oprescu, S., Takase, R., Wei, N., Meyer-Schuman, R., Mellacheruvu, D., Kitzman, J., Kocen, S., Hines, T., Spaulding, E. L., Lupski, J., Nesvizhskii, A., Mancias, P., Butler, I., Yang, X., Hou, Y., Antonellis, A., Harper, Sc., Burgess, R. (2019). Allele-specific RNA interference prevents neuropathy in Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease Type 2D mouse models. Journal of Clin Inves, 129(12):5568-5583.
  • Morelli, K., Seburn, K., Schroeder, D., Spaulding, E. L., Dionne, L., Cox, G., Burgess, R. (2017). Severity of both demyelinating and axonal neuropathy mouse models is modified by genes affecting structure and function of peripheral nodes. Cell Rep. 18(3):3178-3191.
  • Sleigh, J., Dawes, J., West, S., Wei, N., Spaulding, E. L., Gomez-Martin, A., Burgess, R., Cader, M., Talbot, K., Yang, X., Bennett, D., Schiavo, G. (2017). Trk receptor signaling and sensory neuron fate are perturbed in human neuropathy caused by Gars mutations. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114(16):E3324-E333.
  • Spaulding, E. L., Sleigh, J., Morelli, K. Pinter, M., Burgess, R., & Seburn, K. (2016). Synaptic deficits at neuromuscular junctions in two mouse models of Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2D. J Neurosci, 36(11):3254-3267.
  • Lisse, T., Middleton, L., Pellegrini, A., Martin, P., Spaulding, E. L., Lopes, O., Brochu, E., Carter, E., Waldron, Al, & Rieger. S. (2016). Paclitaxel-induced epithelial damage and ectopic MMP-13 expression promotes neurotoxicity in zebrafish. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 113(15):E2189-198.
  • Spaulding, E. L. & Burgess, R. W. (2017). Accumulating evidence for axonal translation in neuronal homeostasis. Front Neurosci. 11:312.