Subhojit Roy 

Subhojit Roy, MD, PhD 

Associate Professor


Contact Information

Basic Sciences Building
Room 1030A

Phone:: 858-822-0125

Lab Website:

Mailing Address:
9500 Gilman Drive
MC 0612
La Jolla, CA 92093-0612

Dr. Roy received his PhD in Cell Biology at Temple University (Philadelphia), as a student of Mark Black. After graduate and postgraduate medical training in Pathology/Neuropathology at the University of Pennsylvania (also in Philadelphia), he joined UCSD in 2008 and is currently an Associate Professor with joint appointments in Pathology and Neurosciences.

The Roy Lab employs a variety of techniques – ranging from single-cell optics to examination of the human brain – to resolve outstanding questions in neurobiology and neuropathology. Specific areas of interest are “slow axonal transport” – a mechanism known to convey ‘soluble/cytosolic’ proteins along axons (as opposed to membrane-bound proteins moving as vesicles). Slow transport is very poorly understood, compared to well-studied mechanisms that carry vesicles in “fast axonal transport.” The Roy Lab has developed new optical tools to visualize soluble slow transport – click the “publications” tab for more.

A second major area of interest is to uncover specific cell-biologic mechanisms that lead to key pathophysiologic events related to Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. The general approach is to develop high-fidelity neuronal model-systems that accurately capture key aspects of pathophysiology; generate predictions using these systems; and then ask focused questions in mouse-models and human brains to see if the predictions hold up. So far this approach has uncovered novel aspects of alpha-synuclein, APP and BACE pathobiology.

See the “Video abstract” (Neuron) for an example of this approach:
Click on the “publications” tab for more information.

Dr. Roy also shares clinical Neuropathology responsibilities at UCSD hospitals and the UCSD Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC). He is also a reviewer for several journals including Journal of Neuroscience and Neuron and has given invited talks in many national and international venues. The Roy Lab is funded by grants from the NIH and private foundations. 

For more details and updated information, please visit


Representative List

Slow Axonal Transport:

Mechanistic logic underlying the axonal transport of cytosolic proteins. Scott D, Das U, Tang Y and Roy S. Neuron May 2011 12;70(3):441-54. 
* Preview: "The Curious Case of the Soluble Protein". Brady, ST. Developmental Cell. 2011 May 17;20(5):581-2.

 A simple photoactivation and image-analysis module for visualizing and analyzing axonal transport with high temporal resolution. Roy S, Yang Ge, Tang Y and Scott D. Nature Protocols, 2011 Dec 15;7:62-8                                          
Tang Y, Scott D, Das U, Gitler D, Ganguly A, and Roy S. (2013) Fast vesicle transport is required for the slow axonal transport of synapsin. Journal of Neuroscience, 33(39):15362-15375.   
* Recommended in F1000Prime, 08 Oct 2013;

Seeing the Unseen: the hidden world of slow axonal transport. Roy, S. (2013) The Neuroscientist (Review) Aug 2. [Epub ahead of print].

Cell Biology of Neurodegenerative diseases:

Das U, Scott D, Koo EH, Tang Y and Roy S. (2013) Activity-induced convergence of APP and BACE-1 in acidic microdomains via an endocytosis-dependent pathway. Neuron, 79(3):447-60.
* Recommended in F1000Prime, 08 Sep 2013;
* Featured ‘video abstract’ in Neuron:

Alpha-synuclein inhibits inter-synaptic vesicle mobility and maintains recycling pool homeostasis. Scott D and Roy S. Journal of Neuroscience, July 25; 32(30):10129-35.
* Featured cover illustration   

A pathologic cascade leading to synaptic dysfunction in α-synuclein-induced neurodegeneration (2010). Scott D, Tabarean I, Tang Y, Cartier A, Masliah E, Roy S. Journal of Neuroscience Jun 2010 16;30(24):8083-95.                    

For full list and updated information, please visit

"The science of living things is the science of movement and transformation." We subscribe to this view, attributed to Leonadro da Vinci. The Roy Lab is generally interested in neuronal trafficking and transport, including axonal transport and trafficking of proteins at synapses.

Focus areas:

  1. Cell biology of neuronal trafficking/transport: Due to their complex geometry and finite sites of bulk protein synthesis (perikarya), neurons have evolved elaborate transport and trafficking machineries to deliver proteins into axons and dendrites. How are somatically-synthesized proteins delivered to their appropriate sites, and then retained there (for example at the synaptic terminal)? Knowledge into the biology of this process is critical to our understanding of neuronal form and function.
  2. Cell biology of neurodegeneration: There is general consensus that that amyloid-beta and tau are key proteins involved in Alzheimer's disease, and that alpha-synuclein is intimately involved in Parkinson's disease (whether they are pathogenic or not). Yet, a major gap in our understanding relates to the precise pathways by which these proteins induce neuronal dysfunction, particularly initiating mechanisms, and how/where the various pathologic proteins operate in a given pathologic cascade. We believe that these questions can be answered by high-fidelity cellular models that accurately capture key pathologic features of these diseases; for example, synaptic dysfunction. Click on the “publications” tab for more information.
    Techniques: Advanced live imaging of protein trafficking in neurons, image-analysis, immunofluorescence, biochemistry, proteomics/bioinformatics and data-driven computational modeling.

For more details and updated information, please visit