Matthew L. MacDonald, PhD

  • Assistant Professor, Psychiatry




Personal Website

website link

Education & Training

PhD, University of Pennsylvania (2012)

Campus Address

W1655 Thomas E. Starzl Biomedical Science Tower

One-Line Research Description

Synaptic protein networks in schizophrenia and other neuropsychiatric diseases

My research focuses on utilizing cutting edge mass spectrometry based proteomic approaches to elucidate the molecular pathology of schizophrenia through the study of synaptic protein networks in human postmortem brain tissue. My research program is broken up into three interrelated tracks: 1. The development and validation of proteomic approaches to investigate synaptic protein networks in human postmortem brain tissue. New approaches focus on increasing the spatial resolution of proteomics assays (e.g. specific cortical layers, cell types, and synaptic microdomains) and/or increasing the types of post-translational modifications that can be reliably measured in human postmortem brain tissue; 2. The application of these proteomic approaches, as well as bioinformatics and microscopy, to investigate the link between synaptic protein network alterations and cytoarchitectonic pathology in schizophrenia; 3. Evaluating the downstream effects of these synaptic protein alterations in animal and cell culture model systems.


Representative Publications

MacDonald ML, Garver M, Newman J, Sun Z, Kannarkat J, Salisbury R, Glausier J, Ding Y, Lewis DA, Yates N, Sweet RA. Synaptic Proteome Alterations in the Primary Auditory Cortex of Schizophrenia. JAMA Psychiatry, Online, Oct 23rd 2019.


MacDonald ML, Favo D, Garver M, Sun Z, Arion A, Ding Y, Yates N, Sweet RA, Lewis DA. Laser Capture Microdissection – Targeted Mass Spectrometry: A Method for Multiplexed Protein Quantification Within Individual Layers of The Cerebral Cortex. Neuropsychopharmacology. 2019 Mar;44(4):743-748. PMCID: 30390066


MacDonald ML, Alhassa J, Newman JT, Richard M, Hong Gu H, Ryan M. Kelly RM, Alan R, Sampson AR, Kenneth N. Fish KN, Peter Penzes P, Zachary P. Wills ZP, David A. Lewis DA, Robert A. Sweet RA. Selective Loss of Smaller Spines in Schizophrenia. American Journal of Psychiatry, 2017.


MacDonald ML, Ciccimaro E, Prakash A, Banerjee A, Seeholzer SH, Blair IA, Hahn CG. Biochemical Fractionation and Stable Isotope Dilution Liquid Chromatography-mass Spectrometry for Targeted and Microdomain-specific Protein Quantification in Human Postmortem Brain Tissue. Mol Cell Proteomics. 2012 Dec;11(12):1670-81.