The Lombroso Laboratory studies the processes of mammalian learning that are disrupted in various neuropsychiatric disorders. We are involved in translational neuroscience with a focus on Alzheimer's disease, fragile X syndrome, and schizophrenia. Central to this investigation is a brain-specific protein tyrosine phosphatase called STEP and its role in regulating intracellular signaling. Signals that lead to STEP inactivation potentiate learning, whereas signals that lead to STEP activation oppose the development of synaptic plasticity. Reducing STEP levels significantly attenuates behavioral and cognitive deficits in each of these disorders. These studies validate STEP as a target for drug discovery. Therefore, a separate project in the lab is characterizing inhibitors of STEP in cellular and in vivo models.
We're a proud part of the Yale Child Study Center. Visit the department website to learn more about the rest of our group.
"Neurotransmitter Synapse 3D Animation" used with permission. Carter, Rita. The Human Brain Book. Dorling Kindersley, 2009. Print. ISBN 978-0756654412
NOTE: It was recently brought to our attention that certain individuals are trying to sell on the internet a nutritional approach to inhibit STEP activity. This nutritional approach is claimed to have "cured" the cognitive deficits in treated Alzheimer's patients. They cite our recent paper on TC-2153 and the finding that it reverses cognitive deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer's disease. Anyone who sees this advertisement is strongly advised to question its validity, as the only experiments we have conducted to date have been on mice. There is no validity to claims that TC-2153 works in humans nor that the treatment proposed in the advertisement has any relationship to TC-2153 or to our research.