Daniel Moakley


Postdoctoral Research Scientist

Dan is interested in molecular underpinnings of the immense cell type diversity in the brain. His work in the Zhang laboratory leverages both computational and experimental techniques to examine neuron type-specific alternative RNA splicing regulation. He uses the reanalysis of large, publicly available data sets to identify potential regulators of splicing differences across neuron types. These hypotheses are then tested in embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived neurons.


Before coming to Columbia, Dan earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Wesleyan University, where he studied the maturation of ESC-derived interneurons in Laura Grabel’s laboratory. Then, he worked with Brian Wainger at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he focused on the electrophysiology of ESC-derived motor neurons.

Education History

MA, Wesleyan University - Neuroscience & Behavior

BA, Wesleyan University - Neuroscience & Behavior; Science in Society


Feng, H., Moakley, D. F. , Chen, S., McKenzie, M. G., Menon, V., & Zhang, C. (2021). Complexity and graded regulation of neuronal cell-type–specific alternative splicing revealed by single-cell RNA sequencing. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(10). https://doi.org/10.1073/PNAS.2013056118


Bao, S., Moakley, D. F. , & Zhang, C. (2019). The Splicing Code Goes Deep. Cell, 176(3), 414–416. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2019.01.013


Moakley, D. , Koh, J., Pereira, J. D., DuBreuil, D. M., Devlin, A. C., Berezovski, E., Zhu, K., & Wainger, B. J. (2019). Pharmacological Profiling of Purified Human Stem Cell-Derived and Primary Mouse Motor Neurons. Scientific Reports, 9(1), 1–10. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-47203-7


Chen, C. Y., Plocik, A., Anderson, N. C., Moakley, D. , Boyi, T., Dundes, C., Lassiter, C., Graveley, B. R., & Grabel, L. (2016). Transcriptome and in Vitro Differentiation Profile of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived NKX2.1-Positive Neural Progenitors. Stem Cell Reviews and Reports, 12(6). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12015-016-9676-2