Deciphering the landscape of Alzheimer disease, cell by cell

Our brains are home to a myriad of cell types acting in concert to generate thoughts, behaviors, emotions, and memories. In neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer disease, specific cell subpopulations become susceptible to pathological damage and eventually die. Remarkably, some neuronal subtypes are particularly vulnerable, while others appear to preserve their integrity and function even at late stages of disease. Our lab uses single-cell approaches to gain insight into the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying selective cell vulnerability in human brains with Alzheimer disease and mouse models of Alzheimer disease. We aim to identify the earliest pathogenic mechanisms, understand the progression of pathology, uncover neuroprotective pathways, and identify targetable molecules and pathways.

Our studies are enabled by the generosity of patients who donated their brains to research and their families and caregivers. We apply innovative technologies to human brain tissue to advance our understanding of neurodegenerative diseases and help in the search for cures.