Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration

Dr. Eran Perlson, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology

The lab is a new multi-disciplinary molecular and cellular neurobiology lab. The lab uses state-ofthe- art single molecule live imaging techniques on neuronal cultures, as well as biochemistry, cell biology and biophysics approaches on mouse model systems to study the role of axonal transport in neurodegenerative diseases, with an initial focus on ALS.

 

Neuronal survival and proper function depends on cell-cell communication mediated by ligandreceptor mechanisms. During neurodegenerative diseases such as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), there is considerable synapse/neuromuscular junction (NMJ) disruption and neuronal cell death. It is non-autonomous processes involve interactions between the neurons to its diverse extracellular microenvironments. The molecular basis for this neuronal dysfunction and death is still poorly understood. One possible reason is alterations in the nature, directed movement and spatial localization of vital extra and intracellular signals.

 

The long-term research goal of the lab is to understand the vital molecular communications mechanisms between the neurons and its environment. More specifically, we seek to understand the role that retrograde signaling plays in (1) neuronal survival and (2) synapse stability. We believe that our research will generate novel insights into neurodegenerative mechanisms and ultimately, provide a molecular basis for new drugs as well as delivery methods to treat a range of neurodegenerative diseases.

 

 

Grants

2011-2015 ISF (Israel Science Foundation), The Dual Role of Dynein in GDNF Signaling
2011-2015 Marie Curie International Reintegration Grants (IRG), Retrogade Signaling.
2013-2016 Small Molecule Screen for Neuromuscular Junction Maintenance, Rosetrees Trust
2013-2016 E-Rare-2, European Research Projects on Rare Diseases driven by Young Investigators. Project
Coordinator. The Molecular Basis of Neurodegeneration and Muscle Atrophy in ALS. (Co-PIs: Roded Sharan, TAU; Edgar Gomes, U of Paris; Marcus Kruger, Max Planck; Del Bene Fillippo, Ins Curie; Alberto Rodendo, 12th Oct Uni Hospital Madrid)
2013-2018 Molecular Communication Mechanism of Motor Neuron Survival and Synapse Maintenance, European Research Council (ERC) Starter Grant

 

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