Hayley McLoughlin, PhD

Research Assistant Professor


Dr. Hayley McLoughlin, under the mentorship of Dr. Beverly Davidson, earned her doctoral degree in Neuroscience in 2013 at the University of Iowa. During her graduate work, she focused her studies on the role of small RNA biology in context of neural development and evolution. Given her background in small RNA biology and graduate training in a renowned gene therapy laboratory, she pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Henry Paulson at the University of Michigan. Her focus in the lab was developing a gene therapy approach for Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3/Machado-Joseph disease (SCA3/MDJ) and identifying therapeutic biomarkers of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy. Her work specifically tested oligonucleotide therapeutic strategies again the disease Atxn3 gene. She was funded from 2014-2016 by the NIH T32 Postdoc Neurology Training Grant and the Becky Babcox Foundation for her work identifying RNAinterference (RNAi) sequences that reduce disease transcript levels in a transgenic SCA3 mouse model. In 2016, she was appointed to Research Investigator in the Neurology department at UM to continue her career focusing on gene therapy approaches for prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, through a collaboration with IONIS pharmaceuticals, a world leader in antisense-oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies, she leads the ASO pre-clinical trial for SCA3 disease. She also focuses her research on exploring potent biomarkers of disease in both animal model and patient tissue samples for neurodegenerative diseases. 

Areas of Interest

SCA3/MJD, Ataxia, gene therapy, ASO, RNAi, protein aggregation, biomarker discovery and development 


Graduate Training
  • PhD, Neuroscience, University of Iowa, 2013
Research Fellowships
  • NIH T32 NRSA Post-doctoral Fellowship Ruth L. Kirschstein, 2014-2016

Web Sites