Daniela C Zarnescu, PhD

Associate Professor


Department of Molecular & Cellular Biology
Life Sciences South Building
1007 E Lowell Street
PO Box 210106
Tucson, AZ 85721
(520) 626-1478

Dr. Zarnescu is an Associate Professor in the Departments of Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Neurology. Her reseach interest is in Fragile-X syndrome, which includes mental and physical defects and is the most common form of inherited mental retardation. 


BS: Physics, University of Bucharest, Romania
PhD:(Biochemistry, Microbiology and Molecular Biology), Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Selected Publications

  • Zarnescu DC, Gregorio CC. Fragile hearts: new insights into translational control in cardiac muscle. Trends Cardiovasc. Med. 2013;23:275–281.
  • Estes PS, Daniel SG, McCallum AP, Boehringer AV, Sukhina AS, Zwick RA, Zarnescu DC. Motor neurons and glia exhibit specific individualized responses to TDP-43 expression in a Drosophila model of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Dis. Model. Mech. 2013;6:721–733.
  • Callan MA, Clements N, Ahrendt N, Zarnescu DC. Fragile X Protein is required for inhibition of insulin signaling and regulates glial-dependent neuroblast reactivation in the developing brain. Brain Res. 2012;1462:151–161.
  • Whitman SA, Cover C, Yu L, Nelson DL, Zarnescu DC, Gregorio CC. Desmoplakin and talin2 are novel mRNA targets of fragile X-related protein-1 in cardiac muscle. Circ. Res. 2011;109:262–271.
  • Estes PS, Boehringer A, Zwick R, Tang JE, Grigsby B, Zarnescu DC. Wild-type and A315T mutant TDP-43 exert differential neurotoxicity in a Drosophila model of ALS. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2011;20:2308–2321.
  • Callan MA, Zarnescu DC. Heads-up: new roles for the fragile X mental retardation protein in neural stem and progenitor cells. Genes. N. Y. N 2000. 2011;49:424–440.
  • Callan MA, Cabernard C, Heck J, Luois S, Doe CQ, Zarnescu DC. Fragile X protein controls neural stem cell proliferation in the Drosophila brain. Hum. Mol. Genet. 2010;19:3068–3079.
  • Lee H-G, Zarnescu DC, MacIver B, Thomas GH. The cell adhesion molecule Roughest depends on beta(Heavy)-spectrin during eye morphogenesis in Drosophila. J. Cell Sci. 2010;123:277–285.
  • Zarnescu DC, Zinsmaier KE. Ferrying wingless across the synaptic cleft. Cell. 2009;139:229–231.
  • Epstein AM, Bauer CR, Ho A, Bosco G, Zarnescu DC. Drosophila Fragile X protein controls cellular proliferation by regulating cbl levels in the ovary. Dev. Biol. 2009;330:83–92.