Mojgan Rastegar

PhD, DEA, MSc, BSc

  • Accepting Students: Yes
  • Research Category: Epigenetics


Current Positions

Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics, Max Rady College of Medicine, Rady Faculty of Health Science, University of Manitoba
Co-Director | Manitoba Epigenetic network
Board of Directors | Canadian Society of Molecular Biosciences (CSMB)
Principal Investigator | Human Rett Syndrome Brain Bio-Repository Laboratory
Scientist | Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM)


2001-2004: Postdoctoral Fellow - McGill Cancer Centre, Canada
2000-2001: Postdoctoral Fellow - Indiana Purdue University (IUPUI), USA
1996-2000: PhD, Biomedical Sciences, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium
1996-1998: Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies (DEA) in Biochemistry and Human Cellular Biology, Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Belgium
1992: MSc, Medical Bacteriology, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Iran
1998: BSc, Microbiology, Tehran University, Iran

Research Focus

My research program is focused on DNA methylation and CpG methyl-binding protein 2 (MeCP2) regulatory roles in brain development, stem cell differentiation, and neurodevelopmental disorders.
Abnormal DNA methylation, altered MeCP2 protein expression, and/or MECP2 gene mutation lead to impaired brain function, fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD: altered MeCP2), autism spectrum disorders (ASD: reduced MeCP2), Rett Syndrome (RTT: loss-of-function mutation), and MECP2
Duplication Syndrome (MDS: gain-of-function mutation). Currently, the full extent of MeCP2 functional regulatory roles in the developing brain and neurodevelopmental disorders are not fully clear.

The main objective of my research program is to understand how molecular abnormalities at the cellular level lead to compromised brain function in MeCP2-associated childhood neurodevelopmental disorders. I am particularly interested on the differential function and regulation of MeCP2 protein variants (isoforms) (E1 and E2). In my lab, we have established stem cell differentiation systems, transgenic mice models, primary cultures of embryonic brain cells, in parallel to post-mortem patient brain tissues to investigate the\ underlying disease mechanisms that are involved in neurodevelopment and MeCP2-associated disorders. More recently, we have focused on the therapeutic role of metabolic drugs for neurodevelopmental disorders such as Rett Syndrome.

Research Interests

- Role of epigenetics in brain development and neurodevelopmental disorders
- Molecular mechanisms of stem cell differentiation and cell fate commitment
- Drug repurposing for neurological disorders and Rett Syndrome