We investigate the basic mechanisms causing Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease starting from the genetic forms of these disorders. We study the complex cellular phase of Alzheimer’s disease using single cell, genome wide transcription profiling with spatial and temporal resolution.
For Alzheimer’s disease we focus on the secretases which are proteases that cleave the amyloid peptide from the amyloid precursor protein. The amyloid peptide is the main constituent of the plaques in the brain of patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The secretases are not only important drug targets, but they are also involved in the regulation of important signaling processes most notoriously Notch signaling.
For Parkinson’s disease we investigate the effect of mutations in the genes Pink1, Lrrk2 and Parl-1 on brain function.
We use in all our work transgenic approaches primary cultures of neurons and biochemistry, sophisticated imaging and molecular biology to address our questions. We are also strongly committed to collaboration with industry to generate novel drugs for these devastating disorders.