Overview

This laboratory is studying proteins involved in forming the abnormal brain lesions found in various neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

By using various biochemical techniques we are able to determine how various stresses associated with aging affect the vulnerability of cells expressing mutant proteins.

The focus of this laboratory is the biochemical and pathobiological characterization of proteins critical to the formation of cerebral lesions in a number of neurodegenerative disorders, including Alzheimer's disease, diseases with tauopathy, Lewy body disease and Parkinson disease.

To establish background information essential for the development of experimental models to for these studies, we purified and analyzed microtubule associate protein tau and alpha-synuclein from autopsy human brains.

Through a combination of recombinant DNA method and perturbation of cell cultures containing abnormal levels or forms of proteins we are studying the development of neuronal and glial inclusions.

A major effort is underway to determine the effect of mutations on tau and synuclein on the functions of these proteins as well as the vulnerability of cells expressing mutant proteins to various stresses associated with aging.