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). 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. 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.
We investigate both therapeutic potential and fundamental mechanisms of such hormones and/or receptor analogs/antagonists, thus the range of techniques employed in our laboratory is broad. Techniques used in our laboratory include but are not limited to learning and memory testing, imaging & analysis of neuronal structure and protein and nucleic acid localization, in vivo and in vitro AAV-mediated CRISPR/Cas9 technology, use of traditional transgenic models, and genome and transcriptome (RNA seq)-wide techniques.