Yalda Moayedi-Esfahani, PhD

Academic Appointments

  • Assistant Professor of Neurological Sciences (in Neurology and Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery)

Current Administrative Positions

  • CTNI Scholar
  • Associate Director, TFFI Preclinical Models Core
Yalda Moayedi-Esfahani, PhD

Dr. Moayedi received her PhD in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, where she researched the molecular genetics of retinal and cochlear development. During her graduate work, she identified Sfswap as a regulator of mammalian hair cell development. This research spurred her interest in mechanosensation. She joined Dr. Ellen Lumpkin’s laboratory at Columbia University as a postdoctoral researcher in 2014, where she investigated oral mechanosensory neurons. In 2020, she was hired as an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Neurology and Otolaryngology–Head & Neck Surgery at Columbia University.

The primary research interest of Dr. Moayedi’s laboratory is to better understand the somatosensory neurons that innervate the oral cavity and upper airway, and how they contribute to orally-guided functions such as flavor perception, feeding mechanics, and speech. While it is well recognized that somatosensation is an important contributor to these daily tasks, little is known about the neurons and circuits that underlie them. Understanding this fundamental biology has far-reaching implications for developing new treatments for diseases of orofacial neurons including dysphagia, dysphonia, and cranial neuropathies. Her lab uses a combination of molecular biology, anatomical methods, in vivo functional imaging, and behavior to address these gaps in knowledge.

Education and Training

  • BS, 2004 University of Texas at Austin
  • BA, 2004 University of Texas at Austin
  • PhD, 2013 Baylor College of Medicine

Lab Locations

  • College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S)

    630 West 168th Street
    9-449 9
    New York, NY 10032
  • CUMC/Harkness Pavilion

    180 Fort Washington Avenue
    8-844 8
    New York, NY 10032

Honors and Awards

2011 FASEB Summer Research Conferences Travel Award, The Biology and Chemistry of Vision

2016 Columbia University Scott Smemo Memorial Postdoctoral Service Award

2018 3rd Annual TFFI Symposium in Translational Sensory Neuroscience Poster Award

2019 4th Annual TFFI Symposium in Translational Sensory Neuroscience Poster Award


Moayedi Y*., S. Michlig Gonzalez, M. Park, A. Koch, E.A. Lumpkin*. Somatosensory innervation of healthy human oral tissues. BioRXIV [Preprint], 2021 Feb 3; 429664. *Joint senior authors.

Moayedi Y. and E.A. Lumpkin. The role of the mechanosensory system in ingestive behaviors. Jeon D. Hamm, Harry R. Kissileff. In: Columbia University Seminars on Appetitive Behavior. Appetite. 2020. 151:104557p.

Moayedi Y., M.J. Pitman, J.C. de Nooij. Airway Protection—A Role for Vagal P2RY1 Receptors. Cell (2020) Apr 30;181(3):509-511.

Moayedi, Y., S. Greenberg, B. A. Jenkins, K. L. Marshall, D. M. Owens and E. A. Lumpkin. Camphor oil induces tumor regression through cytotoxic T cell-dependent mechanisms. Mol Carcinog (2018) Dec 23.

Moayedi, Y., L. Duenas-Bianchi and E. A. Lumpkin. Somatosensory innervation of the oral mucosa of adult and aging mice. Scientific Reports. (2018) 8(1):9975.

Moayedi Y, M. Nakatani, and E.A. Lumpkin. Mammalian Mechanoreception. T.J. Prescott, E. Ahissar, E. Izhikevich, eds. In Scholarpedia of Touch, 1st Edition. Atlantis Press; 2015. p. 423-436.

Moayedi Y, M.L. Basch, N.L. Pacheco, S.S. Gao, R. Wang, W. Harrison, N. Xiao, J.S. Oghalai, P.A. Overbeek, G. Mardon¶, and A.K. Groves¶. The candidate splicing factor Sfswap regulates growth and patterning of inner ear sensory organs. PLoS Genet. (2014) 10(1).

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov