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We explore new strategies for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease (PD) and related synucleinopathies such as Dementia with Lewy bodies (DLB). These diseases are characterized by the aggregation of the protein α-synuclein (αS), an abundant nerve cell component in the brain. With no disease-modifying drugs available, there is a great need for robust models that recapitulate how early changes in the normal maintenance of α-synuclein can lead to these aggregates. Combining cell biology, biochemistry, microscopy, high-content imaging and screening approaches, we want to:

  • understand normal αS cell biology,
  • define abnormal αS states,
  • transform abnormal αS states into screenable phenotypes,
  • use the correction of abnormal states as a readout for drug discovery.

Current Lab Members


Heba Alnakhala, BS

Research Technician

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Ulf Dettmer, PhD

Associate Professor of Neurology

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Lisa Brontesi, BA

Research Technician

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Nagendran Ramalingam, PhD

Instructor in Neurology

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