Douglas L. Black, Ph.D.

Distinguished Professor and Vice Chair of Academic Personnel


MRL 6-780


UCLA Graduate Program in the Biosciences

  • Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Home Area
  • Gene Regulation Home Area
  • Cell and Developmental Biology Home Area

UCLA Molecular Biology Institute

Broad Stem Cell Research Center

Brain Research Institute

Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center

Affiliate: UCLA Graduate Program in Bioengineering


Research Interests

Our lab is interested in the regulation of pre-mRNA splicing and the biochemical mechanisms that control changes in splice sites. The sequences of metazoan genomes, with their relatively low gene numbers, have highlighted the question of how protein number can be expanded beyond the gene number for a complex organism. Alternative splicing, which allows the production of multiple mRNAs and hence multiple proteins from a single gene, is a major contributor to protein diversity. However, despite its key role in gene expression, this process is poorly understood mechanistically.



Dr. Black is a Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics at the University of California, Los Angeles, and the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. His B.A. degree is in chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He received his PhD in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University working with Dr. Joan A. Steitz. Prior to coming to UCLA, he did postdoctoral work at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and MIT, working with Drs. David Baltimore, Don Rio, and Phillip Sharp.



Damianov Andrey, Ying Yi, Lin Chia-Ho, Lee Ji-Ann, Tran Diana, Vashisht Ajay A, Bahrami-Samani Emad, Xing Yi, Martin Kelsey C, Wohlschlegel James A, Black Douglas L Rbfox Proteins Regulate Splicing as Part of a Large Multiprotein Complex LASR. Cell. 2016; 165(3): 606-19.

Vuong Celine K, Black Douglas L, Zheng Sika The neurogenetics of alternative splicing. Nature reviews. Neuroscience. 2016; 17(5): 265-81.

Linares Anthony J, Lin Chia-Ho, Damianov Andrey, Adams Katrina L, Novitch Bennett G, Black Douglas L The splicing regulator PTBP1 controls the activity of the transcription factor Pbx1 during neuronal differentiation. eLife. 2015; 4(1): e09268.

Sharma Shalini, Wongpalee Somsakul Pop, Vashisht Ajay, Wohlschlegel James A, Black Douglas L Stem-loop 4 of U1 snRNA is essential for splicing and interacts with the U2 snRNP-specific SF3A1 protein during spliceosome assembly. Genes & development. 2014; 28(22): 2518-31.

Li Qin, Zheng Sika, Han Areum, Lin Chia-Ho, Stoilov Peter, Fu Xiang-Dong, Black Douglas L The splicing regulator PTBP2 controls a program of embryonic splicing required for neuronal maturation. eLife. 2014; 3(22): e01201.

Zheng Sika, Damoiseaux Robert, Chen Liang, Black Douglas L A broadly applicable high-throughput screening strategy identifies new regulators of Dlg4 (Psd-95) alternative splicing. Genome research. 2013; 23(6): 998-1007.

Pandya-Jones Amy, Bhatt Dev M, Lin Chia-Ho, Tong Ann-Jay, Smale Stephen T, Black Douglas L Splicing kinetics and transcript release from the chromatin compartment limit the rate of Lipid A-induced gene expression. RNA (New York, N.Y.). 2013; 19(6): 811-27.

Zheng Sika, Gray Erin E, Chawla Geetanjali, Porse Bo Torben, O’Dell Thomas J, Black Douglas L PSD-95 is post-transcriptionally repressed during early neural development by PTBP1 and PTBP2. Nature neuroscience. 2012; 15(3): 381-8, S1.

Gehman Lauren T, Meera Pratap, Stoilov Peter, Shiue Lily, O’Brien Janelle E, Meisler Miriam H, Ares Manuel, Otis Thomas S, Black Douglas L The splicing regulator Rbfox2 is required for both cerebellar development and mature motor function. Genes & development. 2012; 26(5): 445-60.

Bhatt Dev M, Pandya-Jones Amy, Tong Ann-Jay, Barozzi Iros, Lissner Michelle M, Natoli Gioacchino, Black Douglas L, Smale Stephen T Transcript dynamics of proinflammatory genes revealed by sequence analysis of subcellular RNA fractions. Cell. 2012; 150(2): 279-90.

Gehman Lauren T, Stoilov Peter, Maguire Jamie, Damianov Andrey, Lin Chia-Ho, Shiue Lily, Ares Manuel, Mody Istvan, Black Douglas L The splicing regulator Rbfox1 (A2BP1) controls neuronal excitation in the mammalian brain. Nature genetics. 2011; 43(7): 706-11.

Sharma Shalini, Maris Christophe, Allain Frédéric H-T, Black Douglas L U1 snRNA directly interacts with polypyrimidine tract-binding protein during splicing repression. Molecular cell. 2011; 41(5): 579-88.

Lee Ji-Ann, Tang Zhen-Zhi, Black Douglas L An inducible change in Fox-1/A2BP1 splicing modulates the alternative splicing of downstream neuronal target exons. Genes & development. 2009; 23(19): 2284-93.

Li, Qin, Lee, Ji-Ann, and Douglas L. Black Neuronal Regulation of Alternative Pre-messenger RNA Splicing. Nature Reviews Neuroscience 2007; 8(11): 819-31.

Boutz P, Stoilov P, Li Q, Lin C, Chawla G, Ostrow K, Shiue L, Manuel C. Ares and Douglas L. Black Post-transcriptional regulatory switch in polypyrimidine tract-binding proteins reprograms alternative splicing in developing neurons. Genes and Development 2007; 21(13): 1636-52.

Underwood J, Boutz P, Dougherty JD, Stoilov P, Black DL Homologues of the C. Elegans Fox-1 Protein are neuronal splicing regulators in mammals. MCB 2005; 25(22): 10005-16.

Black DL Mechanisms of alternative pre-messenger RNA splicing. Annual review of biochemistry. . 2003; 72: 291-336.

Xie J, Black DL A CaMK IV responsive RNA element mediates depolarization-induced alternative splicing of ion channels. Nature. . 2001; 410(6831): 936-9.