My lab explores two related themes, those of synapse loss and neurodegeneration. Synapse loss is an early, defining event in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's disease. In these prolonged diseases, decreases in synapse density are the best correlates of disease progression.Yet, little is known about the pathways that maintain synapses and their roles in aging and neurodegeneration. We are characterizing familial neurodegeneration genes that encode synaptic proteins to understand this important step in disease pathogenesis. Our lab uses mouse models as well as iPSC derived neuronal models in combination with biochemical, cell biological and in vivo approaches to tackle these important questions.
Neurology; Neuronal Ceroid-Lipofuscinoses; Parkinson Disease; Synapses; Receptors, Presynaptic; Neurodegenerative Diseases