Photo of Kevin M. Wright, Ph.D.

Kevin M. Wright Ph.D.

  •      (503) 494-6955
    • Assistant Professor Vollum Institute
    • Assistant Scientist Vollum Institute
    • Neuroscience Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Molecular and Medical Genetics Graduate Program School of Medicine
    • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences School of Medicine

After earning his B.S. in Neuroscience from Allegheny College in 2001, Kevin Wright received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology from The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill in 2006. He did his postdoctoral training at Johns Hopkins Medical Institute. In 2013, he was appointed as an assistant scientist at the Vollum Institute.

The Wright Lab uses genetic, molecular, and biochemical approaches to identify the specific molecular pathways that allow genetically distinct subtypes of neurons to respond differentially to cues within the extracellular environment to form a functional neural circuit. The goal is to develop a better understanding of how axon guidance, laminar targeting, dendritic arborization and synaptogenesis occur throughout the developing nervous system, and how they are disrupted in neurodevelopmental disorders.

Areas of interest

  • neurodevelopment
  • axon guidance
  • neuronal migration
  • synaptogenesis
  • neural circuitry


  • B.S., Allegheny College 2001
  • Ph.D., University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill 2006


  • "Cas Adaptor Proteins Coordinate Sensory Axon Fasciculation." Scientific Reports In: , Vol. 8, No. 1, 5996, 01.12.2018.
  • "Astrocytes follow ganglion cell axons to establish an angiogenic template during retinal development." GLIA In: , Vol. 65, No. 10, 01.10.2017, p. 1697-1716.
  • "Dystroglycan maintains inner limiting membrane integrity to coordinate retinal development." Journal of Neuroscience In: , Vol. 37, No. 35, 30.08.2017, p. 8559-8574.
  • "The glucuronyltransferase B4GAT1 is required for initiation of LARGE-mediated α-dystroglycan functional glycosylation." eLife In: , Vol. 3, 2014.
  • "Dystroglycan Organizes Axon Guidance Cue Localization and Axonal Pathfinding." Neuron In: , Vol. 76, No. 5, 06.12.2012, p. 931-944.
  • "Gdnf Activates Midline Repulsion by Semaphorin3B via NCAM during Commissural Axon Guidance." Neuron  In: , Vol. 75, No. 6, 20.09.2012, p. 1051-1066.
  • "Sec24b selectively sorts Vangl2 to regulate planar cell polarity during neural tube closure." Nature Cell Biology In: , Vol. 12, No. 1, 01.2010, p. 41-46.
  • "Differential Apaf-1 levels allow cytochrome c to induce apoptosis in brain tumors but not in normal neural tissues." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America  In: , Vol. 104, No. 52, 26.12.2007, p. 20820-20825.
  • "Chromatin modification of Apaf-1 restricts the apoptotic pathway in mature neurons." Journal of Cell Biology  In: , Vol. 179, No. 5, 03.12.2007, p. 825-832.
  • "Apoptosome dependent caspase-3 activation pathway is non-redundant and necessary for apoptosis in sympathetic neurons." Cell Death and Differentiation In: , Vol. 14, No. 3, 03.2007, p. 625-633.
  • "Restricting apoptosis for postmitotic cell survival and its relevance to cancer." Cell Cycle  In: , Vol. 5, No. 15, 01.08.2006, p. 1616-1620.
  • "Enhanced sensitivity to cytochrome c-induced apoptosis mediated by PHAPI in breast cancer cells." Cancer Research  In: , Vol. 66, No. 4, 15.02.2006, p. 2210-2218.
  • "Decreased apoptosome activity with neuronal differentiation sets the threshold for strict IAP regulation of apoptosis." Journal of Cell Biology  In: , Vol. 167, No. 2, 25.10.2004, p. 303-313.

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