Major Research Domains
Behavioral Science Core
Brain Imaging Core
Cellular Morphology Core
Animal Behavior Core
Instrument Development Laboratory Core
Collaborative Research Area on Neurodegenerative Disorders
Coordinator: Thomas Bird, M.D.
The Collaborative Research Area on Neurodegenerative
Disorders has four major areas of interest:
- The first is to characterize the clinical, laboratory, and pathological
phenotypes of the various disorders included in this category.
Representative disorders involving the central nervous system
include Alzheimer's Disease, Frontal Temporal Dementia, Huntington's
Disease, Cerebellar Ataxias, ALS, and Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias.
Disorders involving the peripheral nervous system include the
Charcot-Marie Tooth Hereditary Neuropathies and the many forms
of Muscular Dystrophy. The careful clinical characterization of
these disorders will allow more accurate and efficient gene identification
and will lead to useful genotype/phenotype correlations.
- The second focus is on identifying and cloning genes directly
causing or functioning as risk factors for these disorders. The
scientific approaches include genetic linkage analysis, screening
of candidate genes, and positional cloning. This group of investigators
has had important successes in this field including identifying
the genes causing Alzheimer's Disease, Frontal Temporal Dementia,
Hereditary Neuropathy, Parkinson's disease, and Hereditary Ataxia.
- The third focus is to better understand basic mechanisms underlying
the biochemical and molecular pathogenesis of these disorders.
Experimental approaches include the use of transgenic mice, Drosophila,
and C. elegans. The neuronal degeneration association with the
trinucleotide repeat expansion disorders is of special interest.
- Finally, successful approaches to treatment and prevention are
an important long range focus. These approaches include strategies
for preventing intraneuronal protein aggregation and for delivering
normal genes or proteins to distant tissue such as muscle cells.
- Thomas Bird, M.D., Professor,
Medicine, Neurology and Medical Genetics, Coordinator
- Elizabeth Aylward, Ph.D.,
Associate Director Center for Integrative Brain Research, Seattle Children's Research Institute
- Jeffrey Chamberlain, Ph.D., Professor, Neurology
- Gwenn Garden, M.D., Ph.D.,
- James Leverenz, M.D., Associate
Professor, Neurology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Leo Pallanck, Ph.D., Associate
Professor, Genome Sciences
- Wendy Raskind, M.D., Ph.D.,
Professor, Medicine and Psychiatry and
- Nephi Stella, Ph.D.,
Professor of Pharmacology and Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
- Stephen Tapscott, M.D., Ph.D.,
- Ellen M. Wijsman, Ph.D., Professor of Medicine and Biostatistics
- Jing Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.,