Associate Professor of Neurology/Principal Investigator
* MD/PhD from Washington University School of Medicine.
* Graduate research focused on identifying novel neurotrophic factors that promote neuronal survival and growth, including in dopaminergic neurons of the substantia nigra.
* Clinical training in Neurology and subspecialty training in Movement Disorders at the University of Pennsylvania. He also completed postdoctoral research training in neurodegenerative disorders as a Howard Hughes Institute Physician Postdoctoral Fellow.
* He sees patients in the Movement Disorders Center, where he focuses on the management of Parkinson's disease (PD).
* His research on Parkinson disease focuses on developing improved diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for PD, and the development of biomarkers to track misfolded alpha-synuclein accumulation in PD.
* His research is also focused on understanding disease mechanisms and developing therapeutic approaches for a rare hereditary neurological disorder known as Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD), caused by mutations in the PLA2G6 gene.
* Developing Positron Emission Tomography (PET) tracers to image the distribution of aggregated alpha-synuclein in a brain with Parkinson's Disease (PD).
* Working with collaborators to develop radio-tracers for Alzheimer's disease using receptor-radioligand binding and autoradiography assays.
* His is involved in performing in-vitro plate based and cell culture studies to understand the effects of alpha-synuclein mutations on the fibrillization process.
* Additionally, Dhruva is working on designing an assay capable of screening inhibitors of alpha-synuclein fibril formation as a therapeutic target for PD.
* Rebecca is using stable isotope-labeling kinetics (SILK), a technique using mass spectrometry to detect stable isotopes incorporated into proteins, to understand turnover of a-synuclein in cerebral spinal fluid of control versus Parkinson’s disease patients.
* Outside of research, she enjoys visiting Forest Park and all the institutions of the Metropolitan Zoological Park and Museum District. She is currently serving on the Young Friends Council at the Missouri Botanical Garden.
* Lynda is involved in developing therapeutics for a neurodegenerative motor disorder that involves mutations in the PLA2G6 gene, where she is using a PLA2G6 knockout model to study Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD). She will utilize gene therapy and/or enzyme replacement therapy to mitigate the disease.
* Outside of research, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two dogs, reading, baking, and being part of the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.).
Sr. Research Technician
* Jenn is working on projects to understand aggregated alpha-synuclein accumulation in Parkinson's disease and is working to develop a PET imaging agent for alpha-synuclein accumulation in Parkinson's disease.
* Virginia is working on a project to develop a PET imaging agent for alpha-synuclein accumulation in Parkinson's disease.
* She is also working to develop a PET imaging agent for aggregated TDP-43 accumulation in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
* When not in lab, she enjoys listening to music, playing her guitar, and spending time with her two cats.
* Khoa is involved in assisting Jenn and Virginia with saturation and binding assays.
* Outside of lab he enjoys Ultimate Frisbee and Taekwondo.
* Todd is involved in developing therapeutics for an enzyme replacement therapy, which will be used to mitigate the neurodegenerative motor disease that involves mutation in the PLA2G6 gene, Infantile Neuroaxonal Dystrophy (INAD).
* Outside of research, he enjoys watching movies, playing the trumpet, and finding new places to eat.