Dr. Schnaar's research focuses on:
Cell-cell interactions in inflammation – Engaging the lectin Siglec-8 on the surface of human eosinophils, basophils, and mast cells results in apoptosis and inhibition of immune mediator release, inhibiting allergic inflammation. His team has identified a glycan structure that binds to Siglec-8 and that represents a lead compound for glycan-based asthma therapy, and they are now seeking the endogenous counter-receptors in human lung that control eosinophilic inflammation.
Sialoglycans in the control of nervous system structure and function – The discovery of Dr. Schnaar's lab that AMPARs and AMPAR trafficking proteins engage with specific brain gangliosides provides an unanticipated opportunity to understand the roles of gangliosides in regulating excitatory neurotransmission at the cellular, molecular and whole organism levels.
HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) – Despite great advances in the control of HIV/AIDS, HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder (HAND) is still a serious side effect. The molecular basis for HAND is not well understood, but may involve the persistence of the HIV viral protein Tat and its ability to bind to the NMDA-type of glutamate neurotransmitter receptors. Dr. Schnaar's research aims to probe the molecular basis for this interaction in an effort to provide new avenues for therapies.
Lab Website: Ronald Schnaar Lab
View all on Pubmed
Schnaar RL, Gerardy-Schahn R, Hildebrandt H. "Sialic acids in the brain: gangliosides and polysialic Acid in nervous system development, stability, disease, and regeneration." Physiol Rev. 2014 Apr;94(2):461-518. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00033.2013.
Kiwamoto T, Brummet ME, Wu F, Motari MG, Smith DF, Schnaar RL, Zhu Z, Bochner BS. "Mice deficient in the St3gal3 gene product α2,3 sialyltransferase (ST3Gal-III) exhibit enhanced allergic eosinophilic airway inflammation." J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014 Jan;133(1):240-7.e1-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.05.018. Epub 2013 Jul 2.
Vajn K, Viljetic B, Degmecic IV, Schnaar RL, Heffer M. "Differential distribution of major brain gangliosides in the adult mouse central nervous system." PLoS One. 2013 Sep 30;8(9):e75720. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0075720. eCollection 2013.
Mountney A, Zahner MR, Sturgill ER, Riley CJ, Aston JW, Oudega M, Schramm LP, Hurtado A, Schnaar RL. "Sialidase, chondroitinase ABC, and combination therapy after spinal cord contusion injury." J Neurotrauma. 2013 Feb 1;30(3):181-90. doi: 10.1089/neu.2012.2353. Epub 2013 Jan 21.
Webb TJ, Li X, Giuntoli RL 2nd, Lopez PH, Heuser C, Schnaar RL, Tsuji M, Kurts C, Oelke M, Schneck JP. "Molecular identification of GD3 as a suppressor of the innate immune response in ovarian cancer." Cancer Res. 2012 Aug 1;72(15):3744-52. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-11-2695. Epub 2012 May 30.