The development of many neurodegenerative diseases in human patients remains poorly understood and untreatable. We use a variety of approaches, ranging from simple biochemical assays to the use of complex transgenic organisms, to better understand the specific molecular and biochemical pathways that are involved in these diseases.
In order to develop a deeper understanding of neurodegenerative disorders, a unifying theme in our lab is the study of mechanisms by which protein misfolding in the central nervous system leads to severe brain degeneration. We study a number of different molecular pathways to understand how neurodegenerative pathology exerts its effects on learning and memory; we use this knowledge in our work to develop therapeutic agents that can be used to diagnose and treat these diseases. Our research suggests that the manipulation of protein quality control systems may exert dramatic effects on the development of pathology in these diseases.Toward this end, we employ a variety of experimental approaches, including basic biochemisty, cell based assays, and the use of transgenic models of learning and memory.
Brigitte Dauwalder, Department of Biology and Biochemistry
University of Houston
Houston TX, 77204-5001, USA