Irina Voineagu

Associate Professor

Research Program

Broadly, my research interests are in the area of molecular genetic mechanisms underlying human brain disorders. My PhD work demonstrated that unstable DNA repeats block replication fork progression in bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells by forming DNA-hairpins on the lagging strand (Voineagu et al. PNAS 2008), and investigated for the first time the cellular checkpoint responses to replication fork arrest at CGG repeats. This work led to a novel model of chromosomal fragility at CGG repeat sequences (Voineagu et al. Nature Struct. Mol. Biol 2009). For postdoctoral research, I joined the Neurogenetics Department at UCLA, to investigate the molecular mechanisms of autism and intellectual disability, using transcriptome methods.  My postdoctoral work led to the identification of a novel gene implicated in X-linked intellectual disability (Voineagu et al., Mol. Psychiatry 2011) and the characterisation of shared molecular pathways in autism post-mortem brain tissue (Voineagu et al. Nature 2011).Currently, my group's research concentrates on the molecular genetic mechanisms underlying normal brain function and their perturbation in neurodevelopmental disorders, using a combination of functional genomic studies in human brain tissue and neuronal cell culture systems. For more details, please see: http://voineagulab.unsw.edu.au.

Professional Experience

  • 2019-current: Associate Professor, School of BABS
  • 2013-2018: Senior Lecturer, School of BABS
  • 2001-2012: Research Scientist, RIKEN OmicsScience Center, Japan
  • 2008-2011: Postdoctoral Researcher, Dept of Neurogenetics, University of California, LA
  • 2003-2008: Ph.D Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics University of Illinois at Chicago

Honours and Awards

  • Australian Academy of Science, Gani Medal for research in human genetics 2018.
  • UNSW Scientia Fellowship 2017.
  • Lorne Genome Women in Science Award 2017.
  • Biological Psychiatry Australia Aubrey Lewis Award 2015.
  • ARC Development Early Career Award, 2013
  • Simons Foundation, 10 best papers in autism research of 2015, for Yao et al. Nature Neuroscience 2015.
  • NARSAD Young Investigator Award, 2012.
  • Autism Speaks’ 10 best papers in autism research papers in 2011, for Voineagu et al. Nature 2011 and Pasca et al. Nature Medicine 2011

Selected publications

Journal articles
add
Walsh K; Voineagu MA; Vafaee F; Voineagu I, 2020, 'TDAview: an online visualization tool for topological data analysis.', Bioinformatics, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/bioinformatics/btaa600
2020
Keidar L; Gerlitz G; Kshirsagar A; Tsoory M; Olender T; Wang X; Yang Y; Chen YS; Yang YG; Voineagu I; Reiner O, 2019, 'Interplay of LIS1 and MeCP2: Interactions and Implications With the Neurodevelopmental Disorders Lissencephaly and Rett Syndrome', Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience, vol. 13, pp. 370, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2019.00370
2019
Gokoolparsadh A; Fang Z; Braidy N; Lin P; Pardy CJ; Eapen V; Clarke R; Voineagu I, 2017, 'Transcriptional response to mitochondrial protease IMMP2L knockdown in human primary astrocytes', Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, vol. 482, pp. 1252 - 1258, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbrc.2016.12.024
2017
Gokoolparsadh A; Fang Z; Braidy N; Voineagu I, 2017, 'Topoisomerase I inhibition leads to length-dependent gene expression changes in human primary astrocytes', Genomics Data, vol. 11, pp. 113 - 115, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.gdata.2016.12.005
2017
Lin P; Nicholls L; Assareh H; Fang Z; Amos TG; Edwards RJ; Assareh AA; Voineagu I, 2016, 'Transcriptome analysis of human brain tissue identifies reduced expression of complement complex C1Q Genes in Rett syndrome', BMC Genomics, vol. 17, pp. 1 - 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-016-2746-7
2016
Won H; De La Torre-Ubieta L; Stein JL; Parikshak NN; Huang J; Opland CK; Gandal MJ; Sutton GJ; Hormozdiari F; Lu D; Lee C; Eskin E; Voineagu I; Ernst J; Geschwind DH, 2016, 'Chromosome conformation elucidates regulatory relationships in developing human brain', Nature, vol. 538, pp. 523 - 527, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature19847
2016
Gokoolparsadh A; Sutton GJ; Charamko A; Green NFO; Pardy CJ; Voineagu I, 2016, 'Searching for convergent pathways in autism spectrum disorders: insights from human brain transcriptome studies', Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences, vol. 73, pp. 4517 - 4530, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00018-016-2304-0
2016
Pu Yao ; Peijie Lin ; Akira Gokoolparsadh ; Assareh AA; Mike W C Thang ; Voineagu , 2015, 'Coexpression networks identify brain region–specific enhancer RNAs in the human brain', Nature Neuroscience, vol. 18, pp. 1168 - 1174, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nn.4063
2015
Fort A; Hashimoto K; Yamada D; Salimullah M; Keya CA; Saxena A; Bonetti A; Voineagu I; Bertin N; Kratz A; Noro Y; Wong CH; De Hoon M; Andersson R; Sandelin A; Suzuki H; Wei CL; Koseki H; Hasegawa Y; Forrest ARR; Carninci P, 2014, 'Deep transcriptome profiling of mammalian stem cells supports a regulatory role for retrotransposons in pluripotency maintenance', Nature Genetics, vol. 46, pp. 558 - 566, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ng.2965
2014
Tian Y; Voineagu I; Paşca SP; Won H; Chandran V; Horvath S; Dolmetsch RE; Geschwind DH, 2014, 'Alteration in basal and depolarization induced transcriptional network in iPSC derived neurons from Timothy syndrome', Genome Medicine, vol. 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13073-014-0075-5
2014
Voineagu I; Eapen V, 2013, 'Converging pathways in autism spectrum disorders: Interplay between synaptic dysfunction and immune responses', Frontiers in Human Neuroscience, http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnhum.2013.00738
2013
Miyauchi S; Voineagu I, 2013, 'Autism susceptibility genes and the transcriptional landscape of the human brain', International Review of Neurobiology, vol. 113, pp. 303 - 318, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-418700-9.00010-1
2013
Voineagu I; Yoo HJ, 2013, 'Current progress and challenges in the search for autism biomarkers', Disease Markers, vol. 35, pp. 55 - 65, http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/476276
2013
Luo R; Sanders SJ; Tian Y; Voineagu I; Huang N; Chu SH; Klei L; Cai C; Ou J; Lowe JK; Hurles ME; Devlin B; State MW; Geschwind DH, 2012, 'Genome-wide transcriptome profiling reveals the functional impact of rare de novo and recurrent CNVs in autism spectrum disorders', American Journal of Human Genetics, vol. 91, pp. 38 - 55, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.05.011
2012
Voineagu I; Huang L; Winden K; Lazaro M; Haan E; Nelson J; McGaughran J; Nguyen LS; Friend K; Hackett A; Field M; Gecz J; Geschwind D, 2012, 'CCDC22: A novel candidate gene for syndromic X-linked intellectual disability', Molecular Psychiatry, vol. 17, pp. 4 - 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/mp.2011.95
2012
Voineagu I, 2012, 'Gene expression studies in autism: Moving from the genome to the transcriptome and beyond', Neurobiology of Disease, vol. 45, pp. 69 - 75, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2011.07.017
2012
Voineagu I, 2012, 'Autism: From genetics to biomarkers', Disease Markers, vol. 33, pp. 223 - 224, http://dx.doi.org/10.3233/DMA-2012-0931
2012
Shah KA; Shishkin AA; Voineagu I; Pavlov YI; Shcherbakova PV; Mirkin SM, 2012, 'Role of DNA Polymerases in Repeat-Mediated Genome Instability', Cell Reports, vol. 2, pp. 1088 - 1095, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.celrep.2012.10.006
2012
Paşca SP; Portmann T; Voineagu I; Yazawa M; Shcheglovitov A; Paşca AM; Cord B; Palmer TD; Chikahisa S; Nishino S; Bernstein JA; Hallmayer J; Geschwind DH; Dolmetsch RE, 2011, 'Using iPSC-derived neurons to uncover cellular phenotypes associated with Timothy syndrome', Nature Medicine, vol. 17, pp. 1657 - 1662, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nm.2576
2011
Voineagu I; Wang X; Johnston P; Lowe JK; Tian Y; Horvath S; Mill J; Cantor RM; Blencowe BJ; Geschwind DH, 2011, 'Transcriptomic analysis of autistic brain reveals convergent molecular pathology', Nature, vol. 474, pp. 380 - 386, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature10110
2011
Voineagu I; Freudenreich CH; Mirkin SM, 2009, 'Checkpoint responses to unusual structures formed by DNA repeats', Molecular Carcinogenesis, vol. 48, pp. 309 - 318, http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/mc.20512
2009
Voineagu I; Surka CF; Shishkin AA; Krasilnikova MM; Mirkin SM, 2009, 'Replisome stalling and stabilization at CGG repeats, which are responsible for chromosomal fragility', Nature Structural and Molecular Biology, vol. 16, pp. 226 - 228, http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nsmb.1527
2009
Shishkin AA; Voineagu I; Matera R; Cherng N; Chernet BT; Krasilnikova MM; Narayanan V; Lobachev KS; Mirkin SM, 2009, 'Large-Scale Expansions of Friedreich's Ataxia GAA Repeats in Yeast', Molecular Cell, vol. 35, pp. 82 - 92, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.molcel.2009.06.017
2009
Voineagu I; Narayanan V; Lobachev KS; Mirkin SM, 2008, 'Replication stalling at unstable inverted repeats: Interplay between DNA hairpins and fork stabilizing proteins', Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, vol. 105, pp. 9936 - 9941, http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0804510105
2008
Working Papers
add
Voineagu M; Voineagu I; Shnier D, 2019, Persistent homology analysis of gene expression data in autism, http://dx.doi.org
2019
Book Chapters
add
Nicholls L; Ramadas R; Voineagu I, 2014, 'From molecular pathways to ASD therapy: Insights from syndromic forms of autism', in Frontiers in Autism Research: New Horizons for Diagnosis and Treatment, pp. 23 - 46, http://dx.doi.org/10.1142/9789814602167_0002
2014
Conference Papers
add
Voineagu I; Gao F; Horvath S; Geschwind D, 2010, 'Identification of shared molecular pathways involved in autism by brain transcriptome profiling', in INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROSCIENCE, PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD, Estoril, PORTUGAL, pp. 706 - 706, presented at 18th Biennial Meeting of the International-Society-for-Developmental-Neuroscience, Estoril, PORTUGAL, 06 June 2010 - 09 June 2010, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdevneu.2010.07.187
2010
Voineagu I; Lobachev K; Mirkin S, 2007, 'Replication of DNA palindromes and chromosomal instability.', in JOURNAL OF INVESTIGATIVE MEDICINE, B C DECKER INC, Chicago, IL, pp. S359 - S359, presented at Combined Annual Meeting of the Central-Society-for-Clinical-Research/Miswestern Section of the American-Federation-for-Medical-Research, Chicago, IL, 12 April 2007 - 13 April 2007, http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/00042871-200703010-00074
2007

Molecular genetic mechanisms underlying human brain disorders