Research Lab Results for neurodegenerative diseases
Brown LabLab WebsitePrincipal Investigator:
Solange Brown, M.D., Ph.D.
The Brown Lab is focused on the function of the cerebral cortex in the brain, which underlies o...ur ability to interact with our environment through sensory perception and voluntary movement. Our research takes a bottom-up approach to understanding how the circuits of this massively interconnected network of neurons are functionally organized, and how dysfunction in these circuits contributes to neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and neuropsychiatric disorders, including autism and schizophrenia. By combining electrophysiological and optogenetic approaches with anatomical and genetic techniques for identifying cell populations and pathways, the Brown Lab is defining the synaptic interactions among different classes of cortical neurons and determining how long-range and local inputs are integrated within cortical circuits. In amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, corticospinal and spinal motor neurons progressively degenerate. The Brown Lab is examining how abnormal activity within cortical circuits contributes to the selective degeneration of corticospinal motor neurons in an effort to identify new mechanisms for treating this disease. Abnormalities in the organization of cortical circuits and synapses have been identified in genetic and anatomical studies of neuropsychiatric disease. We are interested in the impact these abnormalities have on cortical processing and their contribution to the disordered cognition typical of autism and schizophrenia. view moreResearch Areas: autism, neurodegenerative diseases, brain, electrophysiology, ALS, schizophrenia, cerebral cortex, optogenetics
Dwight Bergles LaboratoryLab WebsitePrincipal Investigator:
Dwight Bergles, Ph.D.
The Bergles Laboratory studies synaptic physiology, with an emphasis on glutamate transporters ...and glial involvement in neuronal signaling. We are interested in understanding the mechanisms by which neurons and glial cells interact to support normal communication in the nervous system. The lab studies glutamate transport physiology and function. Because glutamate transporters play a critical role in glutamate homeostasis, understanding the transporters' function is relevant to numerous neurological ailments, including stroke, epilepsy, and neurodegenerative diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Other research in the laboratory focuses on signaling between neurons and glial cells at synapses. Understanding how neurons and cells communicate, may lead to new approaches for stimulating re-myelination following injury or disease. Additional research in the lab examines how a unique form of glia-to-neuron signaling in the cochlea influences auditory system development, whether defects in cell communication lead to certain hereditary forms of hearing impairment, and if similar mechanisms are related to sound-induced tinnitus. view moreResearch Areas: epilepsy, synaptic physiology, ALS, stroke, neuronal signaling, glutamate transport physiology and function, audiology, neuroscience, neurology, nervous system, molecular biology
Faria LabPrincipal Investigator:
Andreia Faria, M.D., Ph.D.
Radiology and Radiological Science
Andreia Faria's Laboratory focuses on investigating brain functions using MRIs. We develop and ...apply methods for processing and analyzing diverse MRI modalities in order to characterize distinctive brain patterns and to study multiple conditions, including neurodegenerative diseases, psychiatric disorders, and stroke. We use artificial intelligence to develop tools for brain MRI segmentation and quantification, promoting the means to perform reliable and reproducible translational research. view moreResearch Areas: radiology, MRI, neuroscience
Haughey Lab: Neurodegenerative and Neuroinfectious DiseaseLab WebsitePrincipal Investigator:
Norman Haughey, Ph.D.
Dr. Haughey directs a disease-oriented research program that address questions in basic neurobi...ology, and clinical neurology. The primary research interests of the laboratory are:Research Areas: multiple sclerosis, PTSD, HAND, HIV
1. To identify biomarkers markers for neurodegenerative diseases including HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorders, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. In these studies, blood and cerebral spinal fluid samples obtained from ongoing clinical studies are analyzed for metabolic profiles through a variety of biochemical, mass spectrometry and bioinformatic techniques. These biomarkers can then be used in the diagnosis of disease, as prognostic indicators to predict disease trajectory, or as surrogate markers to track the effectiveness of disease modifying interventions.
2. To better understand how the lipid components of neuronal, and glial membranes interact with proteins to regulate signal transduction associated with differentiation, motility, inflammatory signaling, survival, and neuronal excitability.
3. To understand how extracellular vesicles (exosomes) released from brain resident cells regulate neuronal excitability, neural network activity, and peripheral immune responses to central nervous system damage and infections.
4. To develop small molecule therapeutics that regulate lipid metabolism as a neuroprotective and restorative strategy for neurodegenerative conditions. view more
Jun Hua LabLab WebsitePrincipal Investigator:
Jun Hua, Ph.D.
Radiology and Radiological Science
Dr. Hua's research has centered on the development of novel MRI technologies for in vivo functi...onal and physiological imaging in the brain, and the application of such methods for studies in healthy and diseased brains. These include the development of human and animal MRI methods to measure functional brain activities, cerebral perfusion and oxygen metabolism at high (3 Tesla) and ultra-high (7 Tesla and above) magnetic fields. He is particularly interested in novel MRI approaches to image small blood and lymphatic vessels in the brain. Collaborating with clinical investigators, these techniques have been applied 1) to detect functional, vascular and metabolic abnormalities in the brain in neurodegenerative diseases such as Huntingdon's disease (HD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Alzheimer's disease (AD) and mental disorders such as schizophrenia; and 2) to map brain functions and cerebrovascular reactivity for presurgical planning in patients with vascular malformations, brain tumors and epilepsy. view moreResearch Areas: imaging technology development, applications in brain diseases
Philip Wong LabLab WebsitePrincipal Investigator:
Philip Wong, Ph.D.
The Philip Wong Lab seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms and identification of new ther...apeutic targets of neurodegenerative diseases, particularly Alzheimer's disease (AD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Taking advantage of discoveries of genes linked to these diseases (mutant APP and PS in familial AD and mutant SOD1, dynactin p150glued ALS4and ALS2 in familial ALS), our laboratory is taking a molecular/cellular approach, including transgenic, gene targeting and RNAi strategies in mice, to develop models that facilitate our understanding of pathogenesis of disease and the identification and validation of novel targets for mechanism-based therapeutics. Significantly, these mouse models are instrumental for study of disease mechanisms, as well as for design and testing of therapeutic strategies for AD and ALS. view moreResearch Areas: neurodegenerative disorders, ALS, genomics, pathogenesis, Alzheimer's disease
The Sun LaboratoryLab WebsitePrincipal Investigator:
Shuying Sun, Ph.D.
The nervous system has extremely complex RNA processing regulation. Dysfunction of RNA metaboli...sm has emerged to play crucial roles in multiple neurological diseases. Mutations and pathologies of several RNA-binding proteins are found to be associated with neurodegeneration in both amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). An alternative RNA-mediated toxicity arises from microsatellite repeat instability in the human genome. The expanded repeat-containing RNAs could potentially induce neuron toxicity by disrupting protein and RNA homeostasis through various mechanisms.Research Areas: ALS, neurodegeneration, RNA
The Sun Lab is interested in deciphering the RNA processing pathways altered by the ALS-causative mutants to uncover the mechanisms of toxicity and molecular basis of cell type-selective vulnerability. Another major focus of the group is to identify small molecule and genetic inhibitors of neuron toxic factors using various high-throughput screening platforms. Finally, we are also highly interested in developing novel CRISPR technique-based therapeutic strategies. We seek to translate the mechanistic findings at molecular level to therapeutic target development to advance treatment options against neurodegenerative diseases. view more