Headshot photo of Sean D. Speese, Ph.D.

Sean D. Speese, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Neurology, School of Medicine
  • Senior Scientist, Associate Scientist, CEDAR, OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, School of Medicine
  • Neuroscience Graduate Program, School of Medicine
  • Program in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences, School of Medicine
  • Jungers Center for Neurosciences Research


Sean has 20 years of experience in studying the cell biology of neurons, muscle and glia in Drosophila and C. elegans. As a Senior Scientist with CEDAR, Sean's interests lie in utilizing his skills as a molecular biologist and microscopist to help in the discovery of novel biomarkers.

Areas of interest

  • Cell Biology, Genetics, Gene Expression, Neuroscience, Synapse, Glia, Microscopy


Selected publications

  • Glial Draper Rescues Aβ Toxicity in a Drosophila Model of Alzheimer's Disease.Ray A, Speese SD, Logan MA.J Neurosci. 2017 Dec 6;37(49):11881-11893. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.0862-17.2017. Epub 2017 Nov 6.PMID: 29109235
  • A novel Drosophila injury model reveals severed axons are cleared through a Draper/MMP-1 signaling cascade.Purice MD, Ray A, Münzel EJ, Pope BJ, Park DJ, *Speese SD, *Logan MA.Elife. 2017 Aug 21;6. pii: e23611. doi: 10.7554/eLife.23611.PMID: 28825401   *co-last authors
  • Delayed glial clearance of degenerating axons in aged Drosophila is due to reduced PI3K/Draper activity.Purice MD, Speese SD, Logan MA.Nat Commun. 2016 Sep 20;7:12871. doi: 10.1038/ncomms12871.PMID: 27647497
  • Insulin-like Signaling Promotes Glial Phagocytic Clearance of Degenerating Axons through Regulation of Draper.Musashe DT, Purice MD, Speese SD, Doherty J, Logan MA.Cell Rep. 2016 Aug 16;16(7):1838-50. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2016.07.022. Epub 2016 Aug 4.
  • Nuclear envelope budding enables large ribonucleoprotein particle export during synaptic Wnt signaling. Speese SD, Ashley J, Jokhi V, Nunnari J, Barria R, Li Y, Ataman B, Koon A, Chang YT, Li Q, Moore MJ, Budnik V.Cell. 2012 May 11;149(4):832-46. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2012.03.032. 
  • The role of Drosophila Lamin C in muscle function and gene expression.Dialynas G, Speese S, Budnik V, Geyer PK, Wallrath LL.Development. 2010 Sep;137(18):3067-77. doi: 10.1242/dev.048231. Epub 2010 Aug 11.PMID: 20702563
  • UNC-31 (CAPS) is required for dense-core vesicle but not synaptic vesicle exocytosis in Caenorhabditis elegans.Speese S, Petrie M, Schuske K, Ailion M, Ann K, Iwasaki K, Jorgensen EM, Martin TF.J Neurosci. 2007 Jun 6;27(23):6150-62.PMID: 17553987
  • Wnts: up-and-coming at the synapse. Speese SD, Budnik V.Trends Neurosci. 2007 Jun;30(6):268-75. Epub 2007 Apr 27. Review.PMID: 17467065
  • The ubiquitin proteasome system acutely regulates presynaptic protein turnover and synaptic efficacy. Speese SD, Trotta N, Rodesch CK, Aravamudan B, Broadie K.Curr Biol. 2003 May 27;13(11):899-910.PMID: 12781128


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