Research overview

Our lab is interested in molecular and cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease pathogenesis. The overarching goal of our research is to gain insights from cutting-edge cell biology investigations and translate our discoveries to advance therapeutic strategies that can reduce Alzheimer's disease neuropathology and mitigate cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's disease. A primary focus of our research is the neuronal mechanisms responsible for amyloid pathology and Alzheimer’s disease-related axonal transport defects. Here, we study APP metabolism, neuronal trafficking of APP and BACE1, and axonal transport dysfunction. The second focus of our research is to characterize the biological pathways and pathogenic mechanisms regulated by the second most common late-onset Alzheimer’s disease risk factor, BIN1. Recently, we began to investigate molecular mechanisms underlying the interaction of amylin with Aβ pathology in order to explore the molecular link between type-2 diabetes and Alzheimer's disease. My group uses an integrated approach that combines hypothesis-driven mutagenesis, biochemical and pathological characterization, detailed subcellular localization, advanced live-cell imaging, superresolution microscopy, electrophysiology, and mouse behavior analysis to accomplish our goals. Cultured primary hippocampal neurons and oligodendrocytes, established cell lines, transgenic mice, and conditional knockout mice serve as experimental models in our investigation.

Latest News and Announcements

Congratulations to Haley on defending her Honors Thesis

Haley Kowalski successfully defended her Honors Thesis Research. She presented her results at the Sixth Annual Janet and Donald Rowley   Biological Sciences Collegiate Honors Symposium on May 24, 2019.

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Musicians in our midst

It was wonderful to hear Haley and Jessica's performance of Franz Schubert, Trio op. 100 - Andante con moto.

Haley Kowalski is completing her Biology Honors thesis in our lab. Jessica Psahoulias is about to start her Honors thesis research.

Here are two short clips from their performance: 

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Recent publications

Congratulations to Andrew et al. Our manuscript "Reduction of the expression of the late-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD) risk-factor BIN1 does not affect amyloid pathology in an AD mouse model" published in Journal of Biological Chemistry is available online now. PDF of the paper is here:

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Holiday Lunch 2018 / Lab BBQ

Our 2018 Holiday Lunch pictures are here \

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Congratulations to Rob and Celia on their PNAS paper!

Our manuscript characterizing S-palmitoylation of BACE using KI mice has been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.Manuscript Link

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Pictures from Around the Lab

Around the lab

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Rob receives IDPH Award

Congratulations to Rob on his fellowship award!

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Pierre receives BrightFocus Foundation Award

Congratulations to Pierre on his award!

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Rob receives a best poster award

Congratulations to Rob for winning a best poster award at the 17th Annual Neuroscience Day held on Friday, April 7, 201 at the Lurie Medical Research Center, Northwestern University.

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Pierre receives a grant from Alzheimer's Association

Congratulations to Pierre on his Alzheimer's Association Research Fellowship Award!

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Recent Publications

Congratulations to Pierre and Virginie!

- our second paper on BIN1  is published on Science Matters

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Virginie moves to a new job

Congratulations to Virginie!

She has moved to Houston to lead AD drug discovery efforts.

She is now the Research Scientist, Head of Neuroscience target discovery and validation at MD Anderson Cancer Center.

We wish her the best.

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Medicine on the Midway

Our research on BACE1 is featured on page 8 of the Spring 2014 issue. Congratulations to Virginie and Celia.

Link:  Story  /  Spring 2014 issue

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Virginie receives a BrightFocus Fellowship

Congratulations to Virginie for receiving a                                                 BrightFocus Research Fellowship Award!

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Science Life Blog about our research

Shedding Light on a New Mechanism Behind Alzheimer’s Disease

Posted by Kevin Jiang on January 14, 2014 in Neuroscience

New findings about a key enzyme in the development of Alzheimer’s could point to new way of targeting an important protein for therapies.

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