Areas of Investigation
Our laboratory investigates the processes that result in memory loss and other major neurological deficits, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative disorders. Our long-term goal is to advance the understanding of the healthy and the diseased nervous system to a point where rational strategies can be developed for the prevention and cure of these conditions.
Molecules similar to those involved in neurodegenerative diseases are highly expressed in the nervous system of diverse species and appear to function in learning, synaptic plasticity and regeneration. We are particularly curious about the functions and pathogenic roles of amyloid proteins, tau and apolipoprotein (apo) E in AD and of α-synuclein in Parkinson’s disease (PD) and dementia with Lewy bodies. These common neurodegenerative disorders erode people’s ability to think and control their movements, two of the most critical and intriguing functions of the nervous system. They are on the rise and currently can be neither prevented nor cured. These facts underline the significance and urgency of our research efforts.
We use genetically engineered mouse models, tissue cultures and stem cell approaches to study potential disease-causing factors and pathways at the molecular, cellular, network and behavioral level. These experimental models are also used to develop and evaluate novel treatment strategies. Their relevance is assessed through comparative studies of humans and postmortem tissues in collaboration with clinical programs.
- American Neurological Association
- Association of American Physicians
- Consortium for Frontotemporal Dementia Research (Internal Advisory Board)
- Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives
- German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases, Helmholtz Association
- International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment
- iPierian, Inc. (Scientific Advisory Board)
- Alzheimer’s Association of Northern California and Northern Nevada (Medical & Scientific Advisory Council)
- Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society
- Neuropore Therapies, Inc. (Scientific Advisory Board)
- Free University Berlin
- Georg August University
- Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
- Cleveland Clinic
- Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
- American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology
- The Scripps Research Institute