Cause and effects of DNA instability in human disease.
More than ten neurodegenerative diseases and cancer are associated with DNA instability. My laboratory investigates:
- how DNA is unstably transmitted
- why expanded proteins cause disease
- discovery of novel disease genes that are expanded
The ultimate goal of the research is to develop pharmacological and molecular approaches for cures. Special focus is placed on diseases which demonstrate neurodegenerative/neuropsychiatric phenotype and/or cancer predisposition including Huntington's Disease, Spinocerebellar Ataxias, schizophrenia, and Ataxia Telangiectasia. We are trying to understand what signaling mechanisms in neurons result in neuronal death. We aim to block these pathways for prevention of neurodegeneration and harness these pathways for killing cancer cells.