Brett McCray, M.D., Ph.D.

Michigan Neuroscience Institute Affiliate
Fovette E Dush Early Career Professor
Assistant Professor of Neurology

1914 Taubman
Ann Arbor MI 48109-0322


Brett A. McCray, M.D., Ph.D., is a physician scientist who leads a basic, translational, and clinical research program and also sees patients with neuromuscular disease. He is currently an Assistant Professor in Neurology at the University of Michigan. He received his M.D. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Pennsylvania, where he worked with Dr. J. Paul Taylor on the pathogenesis of hereditary neuropathy due to mutations in Rab7. He then completed a neurology residency at the Mass General-Brigham Neurology program, followed by a neuromuscular fellowship at Johns Hopkins. He leads a research group focused on furthering the understanding and treatment of peripheral neuropathy, particularly inherited forms of peripheral neuropathy such as Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disease. The lab is primarily focused on inherited neuropathy caused by mutations in the calcium-permeable ion channel TRPV4 (transient receptor potential vanilloid 4) that cause a range of conditions, including CMT type 2C, scapuloperoneal spinal muscular atrophy, and congenital distal spinal muscular atrophy. The McCray lab combines the study of cultured cells and analysis of animal models of disease to elucidate pathways important in the pathogenesis of TRPV4 neuropathy and other forms of neuropathy. The lab is also involved in clinical and translational research efforts to help bring insights from the bench to patients affected by various forms of hereditary neuropathy, with a particular focus on TRPV4-related disease.

Areas of Interest

Inherited neuropathy, peripheral neuropathy, Charcot Marie Tooth disease, TRPV4, blood-brain barrier, actin cytoskeleton, axonal transport

Honors & Awards

Wolfe Research Prize for Identifying New Causes or Novel Treatment of Neuropathy, American Neurological Association (2021)


  • B.S., Duke University, Durham, NC (Psychology)
  • M.D., Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, Philadelphia, PA​​
  • Intern - Internal Medicine, Brigham & Women's Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Resident - Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA
  • Fellowship - Neuromuscular Disease, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD

Published Articles or Reviews

  • Kwon DH, Zhang F, McCray BA, Feng S, Kumar M, Sullivan JM, Im W, Sumner CJ, Lee SY. TRPV4-Rho GTPase complex structures reveal mechanisms of gating and disease. Nat Commun. 2023 Jun 23;14(1):3732.
  • Taga A, Peyton MA, Goretzki B, Gallagher TQ, Ritter A, Harper A, Crawford TO, Hellmich UA, Sumner CJ, McCray BA. TRPV4 mutations causing mixed neuropathy and skeletal phenotypes result in severe gain of function. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2022 Feb 16.
  • McCray BA, Diehl E, Sullivan JM, Aisenberg WH, Zaccor NW, Lau AR, Rich DJ, Goretzki B, Hellmich UA, Lloyd TE, Sumner CJ. Neuropathy-causing TRPV4 mutations disrupt TRPV4-RhoA interactions and impair neurite extension. Nat Commun. 2021 Mar 4;12(1)1444.
  • Woolums BM, McCray BA, Sung H, Tabuchi M, Sullivan JM, Ruppell KT, Yang Y, Mamah K, Aisenberg WH, Saveedra-Rivera PC, Larin BS, Lau AR, Robinson DN, Xiang Y, Wu MN, Sumner CJ, Lloyd TE. TRPV4 disrupts mitochondrial transport and causes axonal degeneration via a CaMKII-dependent elevation of intracellular Ca2+. Nat Commun. 2020:11(1):2679.

A full list of publications can be viewed here:

Web Sites