About Our Laboratory
Our research focuses on understanding the cellular and molecular basis of neurodegeneration. Currently we are studying human neurodegenerative syndromes that affect the cerebellum and basal ganglia to result in abnormalities of movement such as ataxia and parkinsonism.
We are testing the idea that neurodegeneration results from derangements in relatively few but strategic sub-cellular pathways. By identifying critical components of these pathways one could begin to not only understand the biology of neurodegeneration, but also embark on the design of novel therapeutic agents.
Mutant ataxin-1 disrupts cerebellar development in spinocerebellar ataxia type 1. J Clin Invest. 2018 June 1;128(6):2252-2265. Edamakanti CR, Do J, Didonna A, Martina M, Opal P. PMID: 29533923
Mutant ataxin-1 inhibits neural progenitor cell proliferation in SCA1. Cerebellum. 2017 Apr;16(2):340-347. Cvetanovic M, Hu YS, Opal P. PMID: 27306906
Advances in sequencing technologies for understanding hereditary ataxias: a review. JAMA Neurol. 2016 Dec 1;73(12):1485-1490. Didonna A, Opal P. PMID: 27749953