Puneet Opal, MD, PhD

Puneet Opal Photo

Neurologist, Neurogeneticist
Associate Professor of Neurology

303 East Chicago Ave, Ward 10-332
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 695-7950
Research Profile

Fellowship Movement Disorders/Genetics of Neurodegeneration, Baylor College of Medicine
Residency Neurology, University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics
Internship Internal Medicine, St. Francis Hospital, Evanston
Medical Degree Medicine, University of Poona (India)
Clinical Interests Movement Disorders, Ataxias, Neurogenetics, General Neurology
Research Interests Genetic neurodegenerative syndromes, Cerebellar disorders.

Dr. Opal is a clinical specialist in movement disorders. He oversees a large clinical practice of patients with ataxia. His particular interest is the hereditary forms of ataxia, such as the Spinocerebellar Ataxias (SCA).

Dr. Opal dedicates a large amount of time to both clinical and basic laboratory research, with the goal of understanding the genetic and molecular basis of ataxia. He has authored numerous articles and book chapters on ataxia. At Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine, Dr. Opal is Associate Professor in the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology and the Department of Neurology.

Dr. Opal is Board certified in Neurology and is a member of the Society for Neuroscience and the American Academy of Neurology. He received his PhD in Neuroscience from Northwestern University Medical School, and his medical degree from the University of Poona in India.

Selected Publications
  • VEGF ameliorates the ataxic phenotype in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1) mice. Cvetanovic, M., Patel, P., Marti, H.H., Kini A.R., and Opal, P. Nature Medicine. (2011) 17(11):1445-7.
  • Kular R.K., Gogliotti, R.G., and Opal, P. CPD-1 null mice display a subtle neurological phenotype. PLoS One. (2010) 5(9). pii: e12649.
  • Kular R.K., Cvetanovic M., Siferd S., Kini A.R., and Opal, P. Neuronal Differentiation Is Regulated by Leucine-rich Acidic Nuclear Protein (LANP), a Member of the Inhibitor of Histone Acetyltransferase Complex. Journal of Biological Chemistry. (2009) 284(12):7783-7792.
  • Paganoni, S., Seelaus, C.A., Ormond, K.E., and Opal, P. Association of Spinocerebellar ataxia type 3 (SCA3) and Spinocerebellar ataxia type 8 (SCA8) microsatellite expansions. Movement Disorders. (2008) 1: 154-155.
  • Cvetanovic M, Rooney RJ, Garcia JJ, Toporovskaya N, Zoghbi HY, and Opal P. The role of LANP and ataxin 1 in E4F-mediated transcriptional repression. EMBO Rep. (2007) 7: 671-7.
  • Paganoni S, Naidech AM, and Opal P. Huntington's disease presenting as postsurgical psychosis. Movement Disorders. (2007) 22(8):1209-10.
  • Opal P, Garcia JJ, McCall AE, Xu B, Weeber EJ, Sweatt JD, Orr HT, and Zoghbi HY. Generation and characterization of LANP/pp32 null mice. Mol Cell Biol. (2004) 24(8):3140-9.
  • Opal P, Garcia JJ, Propst F, Matilla A, Orr HT, Zoghbi HY. Mapmodulin/leucine-rich acidic nuclear protein binds the light chain of microtubule-associated protein 1B and modulates neuritogenesis. Journal of Biological Chemistry. (2003) 5;278(36):34691-9.
  • Opal P, Zoghbi HY. The role of chaperones in polyglutamine disease. Trends Mol Med. (2002) 8(5):232-6.
  • Opal P, Tintner R, Jankovic J, Leung J, Breakefield XO, Friedman J, Ozelius L. Intrafamilial phenotypic variability of the DYT1 dystonia: from asymptomatic TOR1A gene carrier status to dystonic storm. Movement Disorders. (2002) 17(2):339-45.

Faculty and Staff