Parkinson's Disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disease in the world. The focus of our research group is to dissect the molecular mechanisms, that lead to Parkinson's Disease. In particular, we are interested in exploring the role of alpha-synuclein in this disease, a protein enriched in so-called Lewy-bodies and genetically linked to Parkinson's Disease. Our focus is to investigate how proteins involved in regulation of protein homeostasis might affect alpha-synuclein aggregation, which is tightly linked to progression of Parkinson's Disease. We are particularly interested in the dnaJ co-chaperones and their interacting HSP70 chaperones. In addition, we are also studying the role of the "Unfolded Protein Response" (UPR ) in regulating protein homeostasis and alpha-synuclein aggregation, with a particular focus on how this might relate to Parkinson's Disease.
We have a strong background in molecular biology and work on cell line, primary cell and rodent models of Parkinson's Disease.