Alfred J Zullo PhD

Associate Research Scientist in Epidemiology (Environmental Health)

Research Interests

Parkinsons Disease; Immunology; Biochemistry, Mycobacteria

Current Projects

1) Understanding the role of HTRA2 in the development of neurodegeneration. In conjunction with Josephine Hoh, Ph.D (Yale University)

2) Understanding the role of HTRA2 and neurodegeneration in the development and function of the immune system. In conjunction with Josephine Hoh, Ph.D (Yale University).

3) Understanding the role of autophagy in mycobacterial defense. In conjuction with Sunhee Lee, Ph.D (Duke Human Vaccine Institute).


Research Summary

Dr. Zullo’s primary research is currently focused on two major topics:

1) Understanding the role of HTRA proteins in the development and pathogenesis of several disease states including Parkinson’s disease.

2) Understanding how Parkinson’s disease can alter the development and function of immune cells.

Both lines of work are interconnected and utilize a wide variety of techniques including fluorescent microscopy, flow cytometry, general cell biology, and biochemistry. Overall, the goal is to understand how specific HTRA proteins contribute to specific disease states, and also how specific pathologies impact the immune system.


Selected Publications

  • Zullo, A.J., Smith K.L.J., and Lee, S. Mammalian target of Rapamycin inhibition and mycobacterial survival are uncoupled in murine macrophages. BMC Biochemistry. 2014; 15: 4.
  • Zullo, A.J and Lee, S. Mycobacterial induction of autophagy varies by species and occurs independently of mTOR inhibition. J. Biol Chem. 2012; 287: 12668.
  • Zullo AJ and Lee S. Old Antibiotics Target TB with a New Trick. Cell Host Microbe, 2012 May 17;11(5):419-20.
  • Zullo, A.J., Zhang, W., Michaud, M., and Grusby, MJ. Identification of the Small Protein Rich in Arginine and Glycine (SRAG): A newly identified nucleolar protein that can regulate cell proliferation. J. Biol. Chem. 2009; 284: 12504.
  • Lazarevic, V., Zullo, AJ., Schweitzer, MN., Staton-Winslow, T., Gallo, EM., Crabtree, G., and Glimcher, LH. The gene encoding early growth response 2, a target of the NFAT transcription factor, is required for the development and maturation of natural killer T cells. Nat. Immunol. 2009; 10:306.
  • Zullo AJ, Benlagha K, Bendelac A, Taparowsky EJ. Sensitivity of NK1.1 negative NKT cells to transgenic BATF defines a role for activator protein-1 in the expansion and maturation of immature NKT cells in the thymus. J. Immunol 2007; 178: 58.
  • Thornton TM, Zullo AJ, Williams KL, Taparowsky EJ. Direct manipulation of activator protein-1 controls thymocyte proliferation in vitro. Eur. J. Immunol 2006 36: 160.

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