Our primary research goal is to identify critical brain circuits and signaling pathways that will uncover new therapeutic targets that lead to improved treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. Our secondary goal is to develop quantitative molecular neuropathology methods to improve understanding of pathologic changes in clinical samples. We address these important and prevalent medical problems through (1) a combination of mouse genetics, virus-mediated gene transfer, pharmacology and in vivo behavior testing, and (2) work with clinical brain autopsy samples.

Project 1

Study mouse brains in aging and Alzheimer’s disease models to determine whether pharmacological therapeutics aimed at preventing or reversing the decline in mitochondrial function during aging will be effective in preventing or reversing dementia and pathologic processes associated with progressive Alzheimer’s disease. This project is part of a major research program at the University of Washington (led by Dr. Peter Rabinovitch) that applies a highly focused, integrated and interactive effort to examine the hypothesis that mitochondrial targeted therapeutics are capable of resisting age and Alzheimer’s disease-related processes and improving health and function in multiple organ systems in aging mammals.

Project 2

The goal of this project is to develop novel technologies (Luminex) that allow multiplex quantification of pathologic markers in formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded human brain tissues. This a pilot project within the University of Washington Alzheimer’s disease Research Center.