The focus of the laboratory is to understand how, mechanistically, aspects of aging and poor lifestyle lead to development of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's Disease (AD). Understanding the cellular and molecular mechanisms that underlie known risk factors for AD is critical to identify novel neuroprotective therapies aimed at slowing down or preventing the disease.
Main risk factors for sporadic AD development include menopause in women and metabolic disease. Our goal is to identify how deregulation in specific reproductive and metabolic hormones within these known risk factors affect neuronal plasticity, cellular energy balance (mitochondrial health), and pathogenic mechanisms such as oxidative stress & AD pathology.
We address the therapeutic potential of such hormones and/or novel analogs/antagonists as well as their fundamental mechanistic role in the CNS through a variety of methods. We investigate both therapeutic potential and fundamental mechanisms thus the range of techniques employed in our laboratory are diverse. These techniques include but are not limited to learning and memory testing, analysis of structure, standard biochemistry, in vivo and in vitro AAV-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 technology, traditional transgenic models, and genome and transcriptome (RNA seq)-wide techniques.