Ph.D. Associate Professor
I am developing zebrafish as models of neurodegenerative disease, especially Prion Diseases (Mad Cow, Chronic Wasting Disease in deer) and Alzheimer Disease.
The zebrafish is emerging as a powerful international resource for researchers investigating how cells of the nervous system develop, degenerate, and are repaired. Zebrafish combine the advantages of many experimental systems: they grow quickly and can be maintained inexpensively in very large numbers; they grow external to the mother, and thus gene expression and drug treatment effects can be monitored outside of a placenta; zebrafish have brain architectures and genes that are strong approximations of those in humans, and the genome has been sequenced. Importantly, the genes of zebrafish can be readily manipulated within individual cell types, allowing us to establish zebrafish as a powerful tool in Prion and Protein Folding Disease research. Also see link BioScience and teaching.