The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory  ::  MIT

Héctor De Jesús-Cortés, Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Fellow


tel 617-324-7010 


Research Interests

My research interests lay in understanding how the brain learns and later store memories, which are plastic (flexible) and sensitive to experience. As an undergraduate, my research focused in the biochemical characterization of a series of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the aggregation of the tau protein (tauopathies) in mice. For my graduate studies, my work centered around molecular mechanisms of neuronal cell death, involving both calcium signaling via the Cav1.2 subunit of L-type calcium channels, and on characterizing the neuroprotective efficacy of the novel P7C3 class of neuroprotective aminopropyl carbazole molecules. I later joined Dr. Bear’s lab for my postdoctoral training, where I currently study the physiology of synaptic plasticity, and how experience and pharmacological treatments can impact this process. I hope this works further expands our knowledge about the mechanisms of learning and memory in the healthy brain, and diverse neurological and psychiatric disorders.


H. De Jesús-Cortés, A. D. Miller, J. K. Britt, A. J. DeMarco, M. De Jesús-Cortés, E. Stuebing, J. Naidoo, E. Vázquez-Rosa, L. Morlock, N. S. Williams, J. M. Ready, N. S. Narayanan, and A. A. Pieper, “Protective efficacy of P7C3-S243 in the 6-hydroxydopamine model of Parkinson's disease,” Npj Park. Dis., vol. 1, p. 15010, May 2015.

J. Wang, J. E. Wegener, T.-W. Huang, S. Sripathy, H. De Jesús-Cortés, P. Xu, S. Tran, W. Knobbe, V. Leko, J. Britt, R. Starwalt, L. McDaniel, C. S. Ward, D. Parra, B. Newcomb, U. Lao, C. Nourigat, D. A. Flowers, S. Cullen, N. L. Jorstad, Y. Yang, L. Glaskova, S. Vigneau, J. Kozlitina, M. J. Yetman, J. L. Jankowsky, S. D. Reichardt, H. M. Reichardt, J. Gärtner, M. S. Bartolomei, M. Fang, K. Loeb, C. D. Keene, I. Bernstein, M. Goodell, D. J. Brat, P. Huppke, J. L. Neul, A. Bedalov, and A. A. Pieper, “Wild-type microglia do not reverse pathology in mouse models of Rett syndrome.,” Nature, vol. 521, no. 7552, pp. E1–4, May 2015.

J. Naidoo, H. De Jesús-Cortés*, P. Huntington, S. Estill, L. K. Morlock, R. Starwalt, T. J. Mangano, N. S. Williams, A. A. Pieper, and J. M. Ready, “Discovery of a neuroprotective chemical, (S)-N-(3-(3,6-dibromo-9H-carbazol-9-yl) 2-fluoropropyl)- 6-methoxypyridin-2-amine [(-)-P7C3-S243], with improved druglike properties.,” J. Med. Chem., vol. 57, no. 9, pp. 3746–54, May 2014. *Co-first author

C. J. Nogueras-Ortiz, H. J. De Jesús-Cortés, J. Vaquer-Alicea, and I. E. Vega, “Novel autoimmune response in a tauopathy mouse model,” Front. Neurosci., vol. 7, p. 277, Jan. 2014.

T. C. Yin, J. K. Britt, H. De Jesús-Cortés*, Y. Lu, R. M. Genova, M. Z. Khan, J. R. Voorhees, J. Shao, A. C. Katzman, P. J. Huntington, C. Wassink, L. McDaniel, E. A. Newell, L. M. Dutca, J. Naidoo, H. Cui, A. G. Bassuk, M. M. Harper, S. L. McKnight, J. M. Ready, and A. A. Pieper, “P7C3 Neuroprotective Chemicals Block Axonal Degeneration and Preserve Function after Traumatic Brain Injury,” Cell Rep., vol. 8, no. 6, pp. 1731–1740, Sep. 2014. *Co-first author

Y. Ferrer-Acosta, E. N. Rodríguez-Cruz, F. Orange, H. De Jesús-Cortés, B. Madera, J. Vaquer-Alicea, J. Ballester, M. J. F. Guinel, G. S. Bloom, and I. E. Vega, “EFhd2 is a novel amyloid protein associated with pathological tau in Alzheimer’s disease,” J. Neurochem., vol. 125, no. 6, pp. 921–931, 2013.

H. J. De Jesús-Cortés, C. J. Nogueras-Ortiz, M. Gearing, S. E. Arnold, and I. E. Vega, “Amphiphysin-1 protein level changes associated with tau-mediated neurodegeneration,” Neuroreport, vol. 23, no. 16, pp. 942–946, Nov. 2012.

H. De Jesús-Cortés, P. Xu, J. Drawbridge, S. J. Estill, P. Huntington, S. Tran, J. Britt, R. Tesla, L. Morlock, J. Naidoo, L. M. Melito, G. Wang, N. S. Williams, J. M. Ready, S. L. McKnight, and A. A. Pieper, “Neuroprotective efficacy of aminopropyl carbazoles in a mouse model of Parkinson disease.,” Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U. S. A., vol. 109, no. 42, pp. 17010–5, Oct. 2012.

A. S. Lee, S. Ra, A. M. Rajadhyaksha, J. K. Britt, H. De Jesús-Cortés, K. L. Gonzales, A. Lee, S. Moosmang, F. Hofmann, A. A. Pieper, and A. M. Rajadhyaksha, “Forebrain elimination of cacna1c mediates anxiety-like behavior in mice,” Mol. Psychiatry, vol. 17, no. 11, pp. 1054–1055, Jun. 2012.


Ph.D. in Neuroscience, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas – 2011-2015

B.Sc. in Molecular & Cell Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras campus, San Juan, Puerto Rico – 2007-2011