Jason R. Thonhoff, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Neurology, Academic Institute
Assistant Member, Research Institute
Houston Methodist


Dr. Thonhoff’s research focuses on the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in ALS. The loss of Treg function is associated with acceleration of disease progression in ALS.  Dr. Thonhoff is exploring the mechanisms through which Treg function is lost in ALS and potential therapies aimed to enhance the neuroprotective function of Tregs. He is also investigating the use of autologous Treg infusions as a therapy for patients with ALS. In addition, he is involved in several clinical trials investigating novel treatments for patients with Myasthenia Gravis, Myotonic Dystrophy and CIDP.

Areas Of Expertise

Neurodegenerative diseases Neuromuscular disorders Myasthenia Gravis Neuroinflammation Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP) Muscular Dystrophy Cellular and genetic therapies

Immunosuppressive Functions of M2 Macrophages Derived from iPSCs of Patients with ALS and Healthy Controls
Zhao, W, Beers, DR, Thonhoff, JR, Thome, AD, Faridar, A, Wang, J, Wen, S, Ornelas, L, Sareen, D, Goodridge, HS, Svendsen, CN & Appel, SH 2020, iScience, vol. 23, no. 6, 101192. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.isci.2020.101192

Increased activation ability of monocytes from ALS patients
Du, Y, Zhao, W, Thonhoff, JR, Wang, J, Wen, S & Appel, SH 2020, Experimental Neurology, vol. 328, 113259. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.expneurol.2020.113259

Functional alterations of myeloid cells during the course of Alzheimer's disease
Thome, AD, Faridar, A, Beers, DR, Thonhoff, JR, Zhao, W, Wen, S, Pascual, B, Masdeu, JC & Appel, SH 2018, Molecular Neurodegeneration, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 61. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13024-018-0293-1

Neuroinflammatory mechanisms in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis pathogenesis
Thonhoff, JR, Simpson, EP & Appel, SH 2018, , Current opinion in neurology, vol. 31, no. 5, pp. 635-639. https://doi.org/10.1097/WCO.0000000000000599

Expanded autologous regulatory T-lymphocyte infusions in ALS A phase I, first-in-human study
Thonhoff, JR, Beers, DR, Zhao, W, Pleitez, M, Simpson, EP, Berry, JD, Cudkowicz, ME & Appel, SH 2018, , Neurology: Neuroimmunology and NeuroInflammation, vol. 5, no. 4, e465, pp. e465. https://doi.org/10.1212/NXI.0000000000000465

Human neural stem cell transplantation-mediated alteration of microglial/macrophage phenotypes after traumatic brain injury
Gao, J, Grill, RJ, Dunn, TJ, Bedi, S, Labastida, JA, Hetz, RA, Xue, H, Thonhoff, JR, Dewitt, DS, Prough, DS, Cox, CS & Wu, P 2016, , Cell Transplantation, vol. 25, no. 10, pp. 1863-1877. https://doi.org/10.3727/096368916X691150

Mutant SOD1 microglia-generated nitroxidative stress promotes toxicity to human fetal neural stem cellderived motor neurons through direct damage and noxious interactions with astrocytes
Thonhoff, JR, Gao, J, Dunn, TJ, Ojeda, L & Wu, P 2012, , American Journal of Stem Cells, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 2-21.

Critical role of PI3k/Akt/GSK3ß in motoneuron specification from human neural stem cells in response to FGF2 and EGF
Ojeda, L, Gao, J, Hooten, KG, Wang, E, Thonhoff, JR, Dunn, TJ, Gao, T & Wu, P 2011, , PLoS ONE, vol. 6, no. 8, e23414. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0023414

Generation of spinal motor neurons from human fetal brain-derived neural stem cells: Role of basic fibroblast growth factor
Jordan, PM, Ojeda, LD, Thonhoff, JR, Gao, J, Boehning, D, Yu, Y & Wu, P 2009, , Journal of Neuroscience Research, vol. 87, no. 2, pp. 318-332. https://doi.org/10.1002/jnr.21856

Stem cell-derived motor neurons: Applications and challenges in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
Thonhoff, JR, Ojeda, L & Wu, P 2009, , Current Stem Cell Research and Therapy, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 178-199. https://doi.org/10.2174/157488809789057392

Compatibility of human fetal neural stem cells with hydrogel biomaterials in vitro
Thonhoff, JR, Lou, DI, Jordan, PM, Zhao, X & Wu, P 2008, , Brain Research, vol. 1187, no. 1, pp. 42-51. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2007.10.046

Identification of early disease progression in an ALS rat model
Thonhoff, JR, Jordan, PM, Karam, JR, Bassett, BL & Wu, P 2007, , Neuroscience Letters, vol. 415, no. 3, pp. 264-268. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2007.01.028