Cellular & Molecular Pathology

Pathogenesis of Neurodegeneration

Pathology faculty has pioneered the use of molecular techniqure to assess viral burden and neurologic damage in the brain. Current research focuses on neuronal and glial pathobiology in viral infections of the human brain and in Alzheimer's disease; for these studies, researchers utilize contemporary technologies including laser confocal microscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), and molecular cloning of novel genes. Funded projects include quantification of the intra-CNS immune response, characterization of a novel gene expressed in neural development and degeneration, prevention of neuronal loss during retroviral infections, the use of primary human emrryonic and adult neuroglial cultures to model HIV infection of the brain, identifiying mechanisms of motor neuron death in Lou Gehrig's disease, and neurotransplantation as a therapy for Parkinson's disease.