Dr. Gwenn Garden focuses on the molecular regulation of neuroinflammation. Microglia are resident CNS inflammatory cells that respond to acute and chronic neural injury. When microglia are activated, they may adopt a variety of responses including a neurotoxic response involving the release of inflammatory cytokines and neurotoxic substances or a neuroprotective response that includes the secretion of trophic factors and promotion of tissue repair. The molecular patterns that regulate microglia response patterns are not well understood. Her group has been examining a number of molecular pathways that influence microglia behavior and response patterns. Garden has focused extensively on specific transcriptional regulators that are induced by oxidative stress and microRNAs with demonstrated roles in modulating the behavior of macrophages. The overarching goal of this research program is to identify potential therapeutic targets that could modify the inflammatory response to neural injury by promoting microglia to adopt the neuroprotective as opposed to neurotoxic pattern of response to neural injury.
D. Garden's Alzheimer's disease research includes studies of the regulation of the inflammatory response in AD, as well as pathogenic molecular cascades contributing to neuronal degeneration in AD. She aims to collaborate with other ADRC researchers in order to translate her laboratory findings into the setting of research using human tissues, human stem cells, human serum and CSF samples, and potentially even human patients.
To learn about her other studies on neurodegeneration in inherited polyglutamine disorders, such as Spinal Cerebellar Ataxia type 7 (SCA7) and Huntington's disease, please visit the Garden Laboratory website.
Molecular Regulation of Inflammation, Microglia Behavior; Poly Glutamine Neurodegeneration