Soham Chanda Assistant Professor


Phone: (970) 491-7004



  • PhD, State University of New York at Buffalo


Our research objectives fall in the intersection of basic and translational neuroscience. We broadly study several aspects of the neurodevelopmental process, e.g. cellular mechanisms that regulate neuronal function, molecular contributions that determine neuronal specifications, and pathogenic effects of disease-associated mutations that impair neuronal properties. We are also interested in developing novel protocols to directly convert non-neuronal somatic cells or embryonic/induced pluripotent stem (ES/iPS, respectively) cells into human neurons, and using these transdifferentiated neurons to gain mechanistic insights into human neurodevelopment and neurological disorders. Our work employs interdisciplinary approaches, e.g. cellular reprogramming, electrophysiology, high-resolution imaging, molecular biology, gene-expression, and biochemical analyses.


  • Characterization of a Human Neuronal Culture System for the Study of Cofilin-Actin Rod PathologyLUBNA H. Tahtamouni, Sydney Alderfer, Thomas Kuhn, Laurie S. Minamide, Soham Chanda, Michael Ruff, James R. Bamburg Biomedicines, 2023.
  • Multiple N-linked glycosylation sites critically modulate the synaptic abundance of Neuroligin isoformsOrion Benner, Tom Peter Cast, Laurie S. Minamide, Zephyr Lenninger, James R. Bamburg, Soham Chanda Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2023.
  • The autism-associated loss of δ-catenin functions disrupts social behaviorHadassah Mendez, Regan Roach, Kaila Nip, Soham Chanda, Matt Figueiredo Sathler, T Garver, Rosi Danzman, Madeleine Moseley, J P. Roberts, O N. Koch, A A. Steger, Rahmi Lee, J Arikkath, Seonil Kim Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 2023.
  • Induction of synapse formation by de novo neurotransmitter synthesisScott Burlingham, Nicole Wong, Lindsay Peterkin, Lily Lubow, Carolina Dos Santos Passos, Orion Benner, Michael Ghebrial, Thomas Cast, Matthew Xu-Friedman, Thomas Sudhof, Soham Chanda Nature Communications, 2022.
  • The autism risk factor CHD8 is a chromatin activator in human neurons and functionally dependent on the ERK-MAPK pathway effector ELK1Bahareh Derafshi, Tamas Danko, Soham Chanda, Pedro Batista, Ulrike Litzenburger, Qian Lee, Yi Han Ng, Anu Sebin, Howard Chang, Thomas Sudhof, Marius Wernig Scientific Reports, 2022.
  • An autism-associated mutation impairs Neuroligin-4 glycosylation and enhances excitatory synaptic transmission in human neurons.Tom Peter Cast, Daniel Boesch, Kim Smyth, Alisa E. Shaw, Michael Ghebrial, Soham Chanda Journal of Neuroscience, 2021.
  • Efficient generation of dopaminergic induced neuronal cells with midbrain characteristicsYi Han Ng, Soham Chanda, Justyna Janas, Nan Yang, Yuko Kokubu, Thomas Sudhof, Marius Wernig Stem Cell Reports , 2021.
  • Pro-neuronal activity of Myod1 due to promiscuous binding to neuronal genes.Qian Y. Lee, Moritz Mall, Soham Chanda Nature Cell Biology, 2020.
  • Neuroligin-4 Regulates Excitatory Synaptic Transmission in Human Neurons.S G. Marro, Soham Chanda, N Yang, J A. Janas, G Valperga, J Trotter, B Zhou, S Merrill, I Yousif, H Shelby, H Vogel, Kalani MYS, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Neuron, 4, 2019.
  • Direct Reprogramming of Human Neurons Identifies MARCKSL1 as a Pathogenic Mediator of Valproic Acid-Induced Teratogenicity.Soham Chanda, C E. Ang, Q Y. Lee, M Ghebrial, D Haag, Y Shibuya, M Wernig, T C. Südhof Cell Stem Cell, 1, 2019.
  • Transdifferentiation of human adult peripheral blood T cells into neurons.K Tanabe, C E. Ang, Soham Chanda, V H. Olmos, D Haag, D F. Levinson, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 25, 2018.
  • Unique versus Redundant Functions of Neuroligin Genes in Shaping Excitatory and Inhibitory Synapse Properties.Soham Chanda, W D. Hale, B Zhang, M Wernig, T C. Südhof Journal of Neuroscience, 29, 2017.
  • Generation of pure GABAergic neurons by transcription factor programming.N Yang, Soham Chanda, S Marro, Y H. Ng, J A. Janas, D Haag, C E. Ang, Y Tang, Q Flores, M Mall, O Wapinski, M Li , H Ahlenius, J L. Rubenstein, H Y. Chang, A A. Buylla, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Nature Methods, 6, 2017.
  • Myt1l safeguards neuronal identity by actively repressing many non-neuronal fates.M Mall, M S. Kareta, Soham Chanda, H Ahlenius, N Perotti, B Zhou, S D. Grieder, X Ge, S Drake, C Euong Ang, B M. Walker, T Vierbuchen, D R. Fuentes, P Brennecke, K R. Nitta, A Jolma, L M. Steinmetz, J Taipale, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Nature, 7649, 2017.
  • Human AML-iPSCs Reacquire Leukemic Properties after Differentiation and Model Clonal Variation of Disease.M P. Chao, A J. Gentles, S Chatterjee, F Lan, A Reinisch, M R. Corces, S Xavy, J Shen, D Haag, Soham Chanda, R Sinha, R M. Morganti, T Nishimura, M Ameen, H Wu, M Wernig, J C. Wu, R Majeti Cell Stem Cell, 3, 2017.
  • FoxO3 regulates neuronal reprogramming of cells from postnatal and aging mice.H Ahlenius, Soham Chanda, A E. Webb, I Yousif, J Karmazin, S B. Prusiner, A Brunet, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 30, 2016.
  • Pathogenic mechanism of an autism-associated neuroligin mutation involves altered AMPA-receptor trafficking.Soham Chanda, J Aoto, S J. Lee, M Wernig, T C. Südhof Molecular Psychiatry, 2, 2015.
  • Generation of induced neuronal cells by the single reprogramming factor ASCL1.Soham Chanda, C E. Ang, J Davila, C Pak, M Mall, Q Y. Lee, H Ahlenius, S W. Jung, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Stem Cell Reports, 2, 2014.
  • Hierarchical mechanisms for direct reprogramming of fibroblasts to neurons.O L. Wapinski, T Vierbuchen, K Qu, Q Y. Lee, Soham Chanda, D R. Fuentes, P G. Giresi, Y H. Ng, S Marro, N F. Neff, D Drechsel, B Martynoga, D S. Castro, A E. Webb, T C. Südhof, A Brunet, F Guillemot, H Y. Chang, M Wernig Cell, 3, 2013.
  • Neurons generated by direct conversion of fibroblasts reproduce synaptic phenotype caused by autism-associated neuroligin-3 mutation.Soham Chanda, S Marro, M Wernig, T C. Südhof Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 41, 2013.
  • Acute reduction in oxygen tension enhances the induction of neurons from human fibroblasts.J Davila, Soham Chanda, C E. Ang, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 2, 2013.
  • Rapid single-step induction of functional neurons from human pluripotent stem cells.Y Zhang, C Pak, Y Han, H Ahlenius, Z Zhang, Soham Chanda, S Marro, C Patzke, C Acuna, J Covy, W Xu, N Yang, T Danko, L Chen, M Wernig, T C. Südhof Neuron, 5, 2013.
  • Direct conversion of mouse fibroblasts to self-renewing, tripotent neural precursor cells.E Lujan, Soham Chanda, H Ahlenius, T C. Südhof, M Wernig Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 7, 2012.
  • Excitatory modulation in the cochlear nucleus through group I metabotropic glutamate receptor activation.Soham Chanda, M A. Xu-Friedman Journal of Neuroscience, 20, 2011.
  • Calcium imaging of auditory nerve fiber terminals in the cochlear nucleus.Soham Chanda, S Oh, M A. Xu-Friedman Journal of Neuroscience Methods, 1, 2011.
  • Neuromodulation by GABA converts a relay into a coincidence detector.Soham Chanda, M A. Xu-Friedman Journal of Neurophysiology, 4, 2010.
  • A low-affinity antagonist reveals saturation and desensitization in mature synapses in the auditory brain stem.Soham Chanda, M A. Xu-Friedman Journal of Neurophysiology, 4, 2010.
  • Complexin-I is required for high-fidelity transmission at the endbulb of Held auditory synapse.N Strenzke, Soham Chanda, C Kopp-Scheinpflug, D Khimich, K Reim, A V. Bulankina, A Neef, F Wolf, N Brose, M A. Xu-Friedman, T Moser Journal of Neuroscience, 25, 2009.