We study axon degeneration and its roles in neurodegenerative disease. One focus is proteins regulating the degeneration of injured axons (‘Wallerian degeneration’), which we have linked into a molecular pathway. Disease models involving similar mechanisms include several of peripheral neuropathies, Parkinson’s disease, glaucoma, motor neuron disease and multiple sclerosis. We aim to completely characterize the Wallerian pathway, identify human diseases associated with it and develop drugs to modify it.
A second major interest is axonal pathology in Alzheimer’s disease. Using a new organotypic hippocampal slice culture model, we are studying the earliest pathogenic events in amyloid pathology and their dependence on Abeta and tau.
We are collaborating on ALS, traumatic brain injury, neuropathic pain and white matter damage in Alzheimer’s disease. Finally, we have a developing interest in roles that rare axonal disease genes could play in axon survival in more common disorders.