Understanding why neurons die in disease

Many neurological diseases feature the death of neurons, but the mechanisms that mediate cell death in these disorders are unknown. Astrogliosis, the response of a cell-type called “astrocytes” to injury, is common to most diseases of the central nervous system (CNS), and recent studies in our lab suggest that some reactive astrocytes may release a protein that is potently toxic to neurons. In order to understand why neurons die during disease as well as find new therapeutic targets to halt neuronal death, I am working to both identify the toxic protein secreted by astrocytes as well as determine what pathway causes neurons to die when exposed to the toxic protein.

Project Details

Funding Type:

SIGF - Graduate Fellowship

Award Year:


Lead Researcher(s):

Team Members:

Michael Cory Bassik (Co-Advisor, Genetics)


Mark and Mary Stevens Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellow