Parkinson’s Disease Research Laboratory

Name of lab:

Parkinson’s Disease Research Laboratory

Department:

Environmental Health Sciences (EHS)

Subject area description:

The long-term goal of the laboratory is to study the pathogenic mechanisms induced by environmental toxicants, genetic mutations and gene-environment interactions in Parkinson’s disease (PD) with the ultimate goal of developing disease-modifying therapeutics for this brain disorder.

Overall, the research projected in this laboratory addresses the following fundamental questions:

  1. Gene-environment interactions: Do mutations linked to PD render dopamine neurons more susceptible to environmental toxicants?
  2. Glia-neuron interactions: How do glial cells contribute to the vulnerability of dopamine neurons in PD?
  3. Excessive mitochondrial fission has been demonstrated in genetic and toxicant-induced models of PD. Can mitochondrial fission and fusion be targeted for PD treatment?

To address these questions, the laboratory rigorously utilizes a wide range of chemical and genetic tools, high standard techniques, innovative experimental models and transdisciplinary approach.

Principal Investigator:

Dr. Kim Tieu

Members:

Dr. Martin Helley, postdoctoral fellow

Carolina Sportelli, research associate

Zhangqiuzi Fan, research associate