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WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF MEDICINE



MOLECULAR AND TRANSLATIONAL NEUROLOGY LABORATORY

BACKGROUND

Our Laboratory makes a concerted effort to develop a strong understanding of the developing nervous system as a means to understand human neurological disease and develop novel treatments.  There are currently three areas of focus.



TROPHIC FACTORS IN DEVELOPMENT AND DISEASE

The first is understanding the early molecular events regulating the formation of synapses and axo-glial junctions in the developing nervous system.  Our analysis centers on how soluble regulatory factors such as the neuregulins and neurotrophins work together with neuronal activity to orchestrate development.  Many studies underway are examining how neuregulins themselves are regulated during development through regulation of their transcription, post-translational processing and association with the evolving extracellular matrix.  One of our missions is to take principles learned from early development and apply these toward understanding and treating human diseases including multiple sclerosis and cancer.  Toward this end we have developed a new way to target pharmaceuticals to specific regions in the body and have developed and are commercializing drugs that use this technology (see www.glytag.com).






THE HUMAN EPILEPTIC TRANSCRIPTOME AND DEVELOPMENT OF NOVEL TREATMENTS FOR EPILEPSY

A
second major focus is to decode what makes focal regions of human brain epileptic. We have taken a functional genomic approach using sophisticated microarray and bioinformatic technologies to map gene expression patterns to the electrical abnormalities in human epileptic tissues removed during epilepsy surgery. We have found a lot of similarities between focal epileptic regions and normal mechanisms that enhance learning and memory paving the way for the identification of new therapeutic targets in human epilepsy.  Through this program, we have developed a collaborative project called the 'Systems Biology of Epilepsy Project' to bring together a wide range of physiological, molecular, and clinical aspects of human epilepsy into a centralized database (see SBEP).



THE HILLER ALS CLINIC AND RESEARCH CENTER

Most recently, we are developing novel translational research programs on Lou Gehrig's disease or ALS, stay tuned.... (see HALS).


 

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