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Faculty/Staff Members


Phone: 4183/2982
Office: H324/C119

Julia Chang - PhD

Professor, Biological Sciences, Physical Therapy

PhD, University of Rochester, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
MS, University of Rochester, Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy
BS, University of California, Irvine, Department of Biology with Political Science, minor


Dr. Chang has been a member of the full-time faculty since 2001.  Dr. Chang is also a researcher at the David Geffen UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Neurosurgery, Pediatric Epilepsy Research Laboratory.  The goal of the laboratory is to use surgically resected tissue to determine molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms underlying epileptogenesis.  The overall goal of the lab is to understand and develop translational therapies to manage childhood epilepsy.  The lab has also successfully established the UCLA Rare Epilepsies and Brain Disease Tissue Bank (REBDTB) and the UCLA Neurosurgery BioBank to bank specimens from surgeries for research purposes ( It is the hope of the lab that by understanding the mechanisms of infantile epilepsy, new therapeutic approaches to treating infantile epilepsy will be developed.

Research interests:

Infantile epilepsy is a known neurological disorder affecting infants and children.  In cases where anti-epilepsy drugs (AEDs) cannot control seizures, children with therapeutic-resistant infantile epilepsy such as cortical dysplasia, tuberous sclerosis complex, Rasmussens encephalitis (RE), Hemimegalencephaly, strokes and other rare brain diseases of children linked with epilepsy require neurosurgical resections of brain tissue to manage the frequent seizures.


Courses taught in the program: 

DPT Program:
PT 401 Gross Anatomy
PT 407 Neuroscience
Undergraduate program:
BIO 50A Human Anatomy
BIO 50B Human Physiology
Co-Coordinate BIO 50A/B Laboratories


 Complete list of Published Work in MyBibliography:



Sorrells SF, Paredes MF, Cebrian-Silla A, Sandoval K, Qi D, Kelley KW, James D, Mayer S, Chang J, Auguste KI, Chang EF, Gutierrez AJ, Kriegstein AR, Mathern GW, Oldham MC, Huang EJ, Garcia-Verdugo JM, Yang Z, Alvarez-Buylla A. Human hippocampal neurogenesis drops sharply in children to undetectable levels in adults. Nature. 2018 Mar 15;555(7696):377-381. Epub 2018 Mar 7.

Zhao X, Liao Y, Morgan S, Mathur R, Feustel P, Mazurkiewicz J, Qian J, Chang J, Mathern GW, Adamo MA, Ritaccio AL, Gruenthal M, Zhu X, Huang Y. Noninflammatory Changes of Microglia Are Sufficient to Cause Epilepsy.Cell Rep. 2018 Feb 20;22(8):2080-2093. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.02.004.

Owens, GC, Chang JW, Huynh MN, Chirwa T, Vinters HV, Mathern GW. Evidence for Resident Memory T Cells in Rasmussen Encephalitis Frontiers in Immunology. 23 Feb.2016. PMID: 26941743 PMCID: PMC4763066

Kruse CA, Pardo CA, Hartman AL, Jallo G, Vining EP, Voros J, Gaillard WD, Liu J, Oluigbo C, Malone S, Bleasel AF, Dexter M, Micati A, Velasco TR, Machado HR, Martino AM, Huang A, Wheatley BM, Grant GA, Granata T, Freri E, Garbelli R, Koh S, Nordli DR, Campos AR, O'Neill B, Handler MH, Chapman KE, Wilfong AA, Curry DJ, Yaun A, Madsen JR, Smyth MD, Mercer D, Bingaman W, Harvey AS, Leventer RJ, Lockhart PJ, Gillies G, Pope K, Giller CA, Park YD, Rojiani AM, Sharma SJ, Jenkins P, Tung S, Huynh MN, Chirwa TW, Cepeda C, Levine MS, Chang JW, Owens GC, Vinters HV, Mathern GW. Rasmussen encephalitis tissue transfer program. Epilepsia. 2016 Jun;57(6):1005-7. doi: 10.1111/epi.13383

Owens, GC, Erickson KL, Malone CC, Pan C, Huynh, MN, Chang JW, Chirwa T, Vinters HV, Mathern GW, Kruse CA. Evidence for the involvement of gamma delta T cells in the immune response in Rasmussen encephalitis. J. Neuroinflammation.2015. Jul 19; 12:135 PMID: 26186920 PMCID: PMC4506578

Owens G.C., Huynh MN, Chang JW, McArthur DL, Hickey MJ, Vinters, HV, Mathern GW, Kruse CA. Differential expression of interferon-gamma and chemokine genes distinguishes Rasmussen encephalitis form cortical dysplasia and provides evidence for an early Th1 immune response. J Neuroinflammation. 10(1):56. (Epub). May 2013. PMID: 23639073, PMCID: PMC3657540