Investigating Cellular Responses to Extracellular Proteotoxicity
With advances in health care and changes in lifestyle, humans are living healthier, longer. As a result, there has been a dramatic increase in the incidence of age-related diseases such as Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Despite decades of study, the mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis remain unknown and effective treatments elusive.
Inflammation is a hallmark feature of neurodegeneration, suggesting that inflammatory responses could be both protective and harmful to tissue physiology. We are developing a small molecule paradigm of extracellular proteotoxicity that is amenable to high-throughput genomic studies. Our preliminary data suggest that cells exposed to this chemical phenocopy induce broad immunological responses observed with extracellular amyloid-Beta. I will investigate which cellular pathways mediate these responses with the ultimate goal of manipulating cells to bias them towards protective instead of harmful responses that drive neurodegeneration.
Message to Sponsor
- Major: Molecular and Cell Biology
- Mentor: Andrew Dillin