Neurodegenerative diseases like Azheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Huntington’s cause unstoppable devastation. From diagnosis onward, patients’ lives are characterized by continued decline, punctuated by limited moments of optimism. Few drugs exist to treat patients, and those that do are only able to temporarily slow decline and treat individual symptoms rather than reverse the disease process. The Subramaniam lab is working to understand the molecular mechanisms that cause damage specific to individual brain regions in different diseases. Our goal is to understand why Alzheimer’s disease causes damage in the hippocampus, while Parkinson’s disease is focused in the substantia nigra, and Huntington’s is in the striatum. Crucially, we also hope to understand how these diseases travel between cells.
Curiosity, collaboration, and freedom of exploration are the three main driving forces that shape our research. Our team employs a variety of cellular, molecular, and behavioral tools to better understand these catastrophic diseases. So far, the lab has characterized several proteins involved in the loss of memory and motor control. We believe that understanding these molecular mechanisms will lead us to identify new drug targets – targets that will help halt the progression of neurodegenerative diseases, and with it, the agony they cause.