We aim to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in age-related progressive neurodegenerative diseases. In particular, we are investigating why the nigrostriatal pathway degenerates in parkinsonian syndromes (PD). Although the cause of sporadic PD is unknown it is hypothesized that similar to other progressive disorders, PD involves both genetic changes and environmental toxicants. We are currently following several lines of investigation including the role of increased oxidative stress, protein misfolding and inflammation on neurodegeneration using mouse transgenic and toxicant models as well as cell culture technologies. Thus far we have shown that one protein known to be involved in PD, synuclein, can increase oxidative stress, proinflammatory molecules and alter neuronal membrane conductance giving us a clue that these molecular events are important in the pathogenesis of PD.


Research Interests

Georgetown Universityhttp://www.georgetown.edu/
Neuroscience Departmenthttp://neuro.georgetown.edu/home.html