Our lab characterizes the interactions between molecular motors and their vesicular cargo to understand how intracellular transport in neurons is regulated. We also seek to integrate and extend our knowledge of molecular motor regulation to dissect the role that intracellular transport plays in the accumulation of misfolded proteins inside axons, and scrutinize the hypothesis that this contributes to or causes neurodegeneration. , and how this process goes awry in neurodegenerative disorders including Alzheimer's Disease and related tauopathies, in prion diseases, and in the transthyretin amyloid syndromes. We use a combination of cell biology, genetics, biochemistry, and high-resolution light and electron microscopy in mammalian cultured neurons, in mice, in the soil nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, to identify and characterize motor-cargo regulatory complexes.
We also seek to integrate and extend our knowledge of motor regulation to dissect the role that defective vesicular transport plays in the accumulation of misfolded proteins inside axons, and scrutinize the hypothesis that this contributes to or causes neurodegeneration. We use mammalian and C. elegans systems to build models of protein aggregation diseases including prion diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), tauopathies, and transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis-related diseases, to characterize the role of motor-based transport in toxicity and infectivity. We
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