Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

Krainc Laboratory

About Our Lab

The overarching goal of our research is to define the key molecular pathways in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases including Parkinson’s and Huntington’s disease. Using patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) differentiated into neurons, we study cellular dysfunction of endolysosomal and mitochondrial pathways in genetic models of Parkinson’s (α-synuclein, LRRK2, VPS35, ATP13A2, PINK1, parkin, DJ-1 and GBA1), as well as the cellular mechanisms involved in Huntington’s disease and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD) pathogenesis. We aim to advance patient-specific approaches to therapeutic development, including development of new technologies for iPSCs to examine selective neuronal vulnerability.  We focus on identification of converging pathogenic pathways to identify key targets for therapeutic development in neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's. Learn more about the Krainc Lab

Recent Key Publications

Nguyen M, Krainc D. LRRK2 phosphorylation of auxilin mediates synaptic defects in dopaminergic neurons from patients with Parkinson's disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2018. 

Wong, Y.C., Ysselstein, D., Krainc, DMitochondria-lysosome contacts regulate mitochondrial fission via RAB7 GTP hydroloysisNature, 2018

Burbulla, L.F., Song, P., Mazzulli, J.R., Zampese, E., Wong, Y.C., Jeon, S., Santos, D.P., Blanz, J., Obermaier, C., Strojny, C., Savas, J., Kiskinis, E., Zhuang, X., Krüger, R., Surmeier, J.D., Krainc, DDopamine oxidation mediates mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction in Parkinson's diseaseScience, 2017

Trajkovic, K., Jeong, H. and Krainc, D. “Mutant huntingtin is secreted via a late endosomal/lysosomal unconventional secretory pathway.” Journal of Neuroscience, 2017

Wong, Y.C., and Krainc, D. “α-synuclein toxicity in neurodegeneration and therapeutic strategies.” Nature Medicine, 2016.

Mazzulli J.R., Zunke, F., Tsunemi, T., Toker, N.J., Jeon, S., Burbulla, L.F., Patnaik, S, Ellen Sidransky, E., Marugan, J., Sue, C., and Krainc, DActivation of β-Glucocerebrosidase Reduces Pathological α-Synuclein and Restores Lysosomal Function in Parkinson's Patient Midbrain NeuronsJournal of Neuroscience, 2016

Read more publications from the Krainc Lab

News and Announcements


Yvette Wong and Wesley Peng publish in Developmental Cell,  “Lysosomal Regulation of Inter-mitochondrial Contact Fate and Motility in Charcot-Marie-Tooth Type 2”.  Highlighted in Feinberg news.


Niccolo Mencacci is awarded the Movement Disorders Fellowship from the Parkinson’s Foundation!

Yvette Wong is awarded the Distinguished Scholars Fellowship from the Warren Alpert Foundation which supports postdoctoral researchers of exceptional creativity in the basic neurosciences!

Soojin Kim is awarded the 2019 IBRO World Congress Travel Award from the Society of Neuroscience!


Dan Ysselstein publishes his Review in Movement Disorders: "Emerging links between pediatric lysosomal storage diseases and adult parkinsonism." 

Yvette Wong publishes her Review in Trends in Cell Biology with Soojin Kim and Wesley Peng: "Regulation and Function of Mitochondria-Lysosome Membrane Contact Sites in Cellular Homeostasis."

Read more News and Announcements

Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD

Dimitri Krainc, MD, PhD

Aaron Montgomery Ward Professor and Chair, Ken & Ruth Davee Department of Neurology

For more information, click here to visit our department page.

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