Michael Boland

Michael Boland, PhD

Strategic Director

Michael Boland is a cellular/molecular biologist with expertise in human stem cell technology, transcriptomics, epigenetics, developmental neurobiology, disease model-development, gene-targeted therapy development, and drug discovery.

He obtained a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (Omaha, NE) where he identified and characterized a novel link between DNA methylation and DNA repair in embryonic stem cells. He did postdoctoral work at the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA), where he studied the developmental potential and genomic structural variation of mouse pluripotent stem cells via mouse cloning and whole genome sequencing. Also at Scripps Research, he integrated gene expression and epigenetic abnormalities during early neurodevelopment in a human pluripotent stem cell model of Fragile X Syndrome developed in collaboration with the Fragile X Testing Center at University of California – Davis.

As an Assistant Professor at the Columbia University Medical Center, Boland’s group combined single cell transcriptomics and neurophysiological methods with human pluripotent stem cells (2D and organoids) and genetic mouse models to discover and study developmental and functional phenotypes in neurodevelopmental disorders. After studying several developmental and epileptic encephalopathies (KCNT1, GNB1, HNRNPU, GRIN2A, FMR1), malformations of cortical development (MAP1B, FLNA) and congenital disorders of (de)glycosylation (NGLY1, PMM2, DPAGT1), his focus shifted to developing gene targeted therapies for STXBP1 haploinsufficiency when his oldest son was diagnosed with a frameshift in STXBP1 shortly after birth.

Boland left Columbia to join ENDD as the Strategic Director for Translational and Clinical Research. He is also an active patient advocate, a member of the Scientific Advisory Board for the STXBP1 Foundation and the SynGAP Research Fund, and serves as a consultant for Mahzi Therapeutics.