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Associate Professor

Phone: 416-287-7445
Location: SW 532

Teaching Interests

  • BIOD65H: Pathologies of the Nervous System

Research Interests

 

We tease apart the neurobiological mechanisms regulating human behaviour and brain function in cell and animal models of Parkinson’s disease. 

 

Our ultimate goal is to reduce the impact of Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases on the quality of human life and society as a whole.

 

In neurons, particularly synapses, the harmony of protein-protein interactions, and their surrounding cytoplasm and signalling molecules regulates homeostasis, and thus neuronal health.  We study how key neuronal proteins control brain function in in healthy systems, and also animal and cell models of Parkinson’s disease. 

We combine the most clinically and physiologically relevant behavioural, imaging and electrophysiological techniques with genetic engineering in vitro and in vivo, to tease apart molecular processes regulating neurotransmission, synaptic and brain plasticity, homeostasis, and cellular metabolism. 

This research has two fundamental goals:

  1. To understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling brain function.
  2. To optimise treatment outcomes for individuals with Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Current Projects.

Understanding the role of mechanoreceptors in the regulation of neuronal function and plasticity in healthy and diseased states.

Understanding the role of mitochondria in Parkinson’s disease.

Development of novel treatment strategies for Parkinson’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases, e.g. genetic manipulation of SIRT3 to augment mitochondrial health as a disease – modifying strategy.

Development of in vivo and in vitro models of neurodegenerative diseases.

 

Key Words:

  • Genetic engineering in vivo and in vitro
  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neuroprotection
  • Neurorestoration
  • Behavioural assessment
  • Electrophysiology
  • Synaptic plasticity
  • Imaging
  • Novel treatment strategies
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Striatum
  • Substantia nigra pars compacta
  • Mitochondria
  • Cell death mechanisms
  • Synaptic proteins
  • Motor proteins
  • SAP97
  • Sirtuin 3
  • Myosin VI
  • Mechanoreceptors
  • TRPV4