The Motor Neuron Center runs a wide variety of research laboratories noted below. Our faculty members are recognized as world leaders in motor neuron research and related disciplines and have made major advances in understanding motor neuron disease. Research in these laboratories ranges from the investigation of molecular mechanisms of neuronal death to devising therapeutic strategies for diseases such as spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS).
My laboratory is dedicated to building innovative technologies to better understand the molecular basis of neurologic disease with the ultimate goal of developing novel therapeutics.
Research in my lab covers a broad range of human genetics from the identification of new disease causing genes to the development of new treatment options that are targeted to the underlying causes of disease.
Research in the Mentis laboratory aims to uncover the cellular and neural circuits mechanisms involved in spinal motor control, and how neuronal dysfunction leads to deficits observed in neurodegenerative diseases. The development of simple spinal reflexes to the more complex rhythmogenic behavior involved in locomotor activity is analyzed, using functional and morphological assays in cellular and vertebrate animal models. Perturbations of normal function in neural circuits, leading to a state of dysfunction and often neuronal degeneration, are studied in the motor neuron disease, Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
The research conducted in my laboratory is geared toward unraveling the molecular basis of neurodegeneration and devising therapeutic strategies to hamper the processes that cause neuronal death, the source of many debilitating disorders.