Assistant Professor, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Faculty of Medicine
North Dakota Univeristy, 2008, BSc
University of California, Irvine, 2014, PhD
University of California, Davis, 2019, Postdoctoral Fellow
Djavad Mowafaghian Center for Brain Health, 4505
2215 Wesbrook Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

Check out my new lab press release with Spectrum News:

The Ciernia laboratory combines experimental and computational approaches to understand how epigenetic mechanisms regulate gene expression across our lifespan. The lab specifically focuses on mechanisms of epigenetic regulation in multiple brain cell populations across normal brain and immune system development and in rodent models of neurodevelopmental disorders. We test novel hypotheses linking genetic and environmental risk factors to altered patterns of gene expression, epigenomic regulatory pathways, cellular function and animal behaviour. Findings from our research will increase our understanding of the basic mechanisms regulating gene expression in the brain and form the basis for future development of novel immune targeted therapeutics for neurodevelopmental disorders such as Autism Spectrum Disorder.


Vogel Ciernia, A., Laufer, B.I., Dunaway, K.W., Mordaunt, C.E., Coulson, R.L., A., Yasui, D.H., & LaSalle, J.M. Epigenomic convergence of neural-immune risk factors in neurodevelopmental disorder cortex. (in press Cerebral Cortex).

Laufer, B.I., Hwang, H., Vogel Ciernia, A., Mordaunt, C.E., & LaSalle, J.M. (2019). Whole genome bisulfite sequencing of Down syndrome brain reveals regional DNA hypermethylation and novel disorder insights, Human Molecular Genetics, 14(7), 672-684.

Vogel Ciernia, A., Yasui, D.H, Pride, M.C., Durbin-Johnson, B., Noronha, A., Chang, A., Knotts, T.A., Rutkowsky, J., Ramsey, J.J., Crawley, J.N., & LaSalle, J.M. (2018). MeCP2 isoform e1 mutant mice recapitulate motor and metabolic phenotypes of Rett syndrome, Human Molecular Genetics, 27(3), 4077-4093.

Kwapis, J.L., Alaghband Y., Kramár, E.A., Vogel Ciernia, A., López, A.J., White, A.O., Shu, G., Rhee D, Michael CM, Montellier E., Liu Y, Magnan CN, Sassone-Corsi P, Baldi P, Matheos DP, Wood, M.A. (2018). Epigenetic regulation of the circadian gene Per1 in the hippocampus mediates age-related changes in memory and synaptic plasticity. Nature Communications, 9(1), 3323.

Vogel Ciernia, A., Laufer, B.I., Mordaunt, C.E., Dunaway, K.W., Mordaunt, C.E., Coulson, R.L., Totah, T.S., Stolzenberg, D.S., Frahm, J., Singh-Taylor, A., Baram, T.Z., LaSalle, J.M., & Yasui, D.H. (2018). Experience-dependent neuroplasticity of the developing hypothalamus:  integrative epigenomic approaches. Epigenetics, 3, 1-37.

Coulson, R.L., Yasui, D.H., Dunaway, K.W., Laufer, B.I., Vogel Ciernia, A., Mordaunt, C.E., Totah, T.S., LaSalle, J.M. (2018). Snord116-dependent diurnal rhythm of DNA methylation in mouse cortex. Nature Communications, 9(1):1616.