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Transforming the understanding
and treatment of mental illnesses.

Celebrating 75 Years! Learn More >>

Christopher M Bartley, M.D., Ph.D.

Christopher M Bartley, M.D., Ph.D.

Translational Immunopsychiatry Unit (TIU)

Research Topics

The Translational Immunopsychiatry Unit (TIU) studies immune processes that contribute to neuropsychiatric illness. The TIU is interested particularly in identifying autoimmune B and T cell reactivities that cause behavioral pathology. One aim of the lab is to identify rare psychiatric subgroups whose illness is defined by an antigen-specific autoimmune response—thereby helping to parse the staggering heterogeneity of psychiatric illness. A second aim is to develop technologies that demarcate cells and circuits that are vulnerable to autoimmune responses in the human central nervous system. A third focus of the TIU is, in collaboration, to study the pathobiological consequences of immune-antigen interactions at different levels of analysis: structure and biochemistry, neurophysiology, and behavior.


Dr. Bartley is Chief of the Translational Immunopsychiatry Unit. He received his B.S. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology in 2004 from Yale University, where he worked with Dr. Pasko Rakic on molecular regulation of neuronal migration. He received his Ph.D. in Neurobiology in 2014 from Yale University, where he worked with Dr. Angelique Bordey on disrupted molecular pathways in monogentic autism spectrum disorders. He received his M.D. from Yale School of Medicine in 2015, and completed his residency in Adult Psychiatry in 2019 at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). He is board certified in Psychiatry and continued at UCSF as a research fellow in behavioral immunology, where he worked with Drs. Samuel Pleasure and Michael Wilson on autoantibody discovery in neuropsychiatric disorders. He joined NIMH in the summer of 2022.

Selected Publications

Christopher M Bartley, Thomas T Ngo, Bonny D Alvarenga, Andrew F Kung, Lindsay H Teliska, Michael Sy, Joseph L DeRisi, Matthew N Rasband, Sean J Pittock, Divyanshu Dubey, Michael R Wilson, Samuel J Pleasure (2022). βIV-Spectrin Autoantibodies in 2 Individuals With Neuropathy of Possible Paraneoplastic Origin: A Case Series. Neurol Neuroimmunol Neuroinflamm. 9(4):e1188. doi: 10.1212/NXI.0000000000001188. [Pubmed Link ]

Christopher M Bartley, Claire Johns, Thomas T Ngo, Ravi Dandekar, Rita L Loudermilk, Bonny D Alvarenga, Isobel A Hawes, Colin R Zamecnik, Kelsey C Zorn, Jessa R Alexander, Anne E Wapniarski, Joseph L DeRisi, Carla Francisco, Kendall B Nash, Sharon O Wietstock, Samuel J Pleasure, Michael R Wilson (2021). Anti-SARS-CoV-2 and Autoantibody Profiles in the Cerebrospinal Fluid of 3 Teenaged Patients With COVID-19 and Subacute Neuropsychiatric Symptoms. JAMA Neurol 78(12):1503-1509. doi: 10.1001/jamaneurol.2021.3821. [Pubmed Link ]

Eric Song, Christopher M Bartley, Ryan D Chow, Thomas T Ngo, Ruoyi Jiang, Colin R Zamecnik, Ravi Dandekar, Rita P Loudermilk, Yile Dai, Feimei Liu, Sara Sunshine, Jamin Liu, Wesley Wu, Isobel A Hawes, Bonny D Alvarenga, Trung Huynh, Lindsay McAlpine, Nur-Taz Rahman, Bertie Geng, Jennifer Chiarella, Benjamin Goldman-Israelow, Chantal B F Vogels, Nathan D Grubaugh, Arnau Casanovas-Massana, Brett S Phinney, Michelle Salemi, Jessa R Alexander, Juan A Gallego, Todd Lencz, Hannah Walsh, Anne E Wapniarski, Subhasis Mohanty, Carolina Lucas, Jon Klein, Tianyang Mao, Jieun Oh 1, Aaron Ring, Serena Spudich, Albert I Ko, Steven H Kleinstein, John Pak, Joseph L DeRisi, Akiko Iwasaki, Samuel J Pleasure, Michael R Wilson, Shelli F Farhadian (2021). Divergent and self-reactive immune responses in the CNS of COVID-19 patients with neurological symptoms. Cell Rep Med. 18;2(5):100288. doi: 10.1016/j.xcrm.2021.100288. [Pubmed Link ]

Christopher M Bartley, Rachel A O'Keefe, Anna Blice-Baum, Mihaela-Rita Mihailescu, Xuan Gong, Laura Miyares, Esra Karaca, Angélique Bordey (2016). Mammalian FMRP S499 Is Phosphorylated by CK2 and Promotes Secondary Phosphorylation of FMRP. eNeuro. 21;3(6):ENEURO.0092-16.2016. doi: 10.1523/ENEURO.0092-16.2016. [Pubmed Link ]

Matthew R Sarkisian, Christopher M Bartley, Hongbo Chi, Fumihiko Nakamura, Kazue Hashimoto-Torii, Masaaki Torii, Richard A Flavell, Pasko Rakic (2006). MEKK4 signaling regulates filamin expression and neuronal migration. Neuron 52(5):789-801. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2006.10.024. [Pubmed Link ]

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