Research Overview

The Neuroinflammation Research Lab consists of a group of investigators dedicated to the study of the biology and treatment of destructive inflammatory mechanisms in the brain, particularly as they relate to neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease. The lab conducts studies that range from molecular biology to treatment trials in humans.

The primary research goals in Dr. Pasinetti’s lab is to investigate the biological processes which occur when, during aging, subjects with normal cognitive functions convert into the very earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and then to frank dementia. The long-term goal of Dr. Pasinetti lab is to improve the diagnosis of patients who are in the very earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and to identify early molecular neurobiological abnormalities so that effective pharmacological treatments to slow or halt disease progression can be developed. Toward this goal Dr. Pasinetti lab initiated a series of studies to characterize gene activities in the brain of early AD cases and animal model system of AD neuropathology, using high throughput cDNA and microarray approaches. Recent studies in Dr. Pasinetti lab found that the expression of genes involved in synaptic functions, cell cycle, and cytoskeleton/cell adhesion, may play an important role in the onset and possibly the clinical progression of Alzheimer’s disease dementia. More recently, Dr. Pasinetti’s lab using a combination of genomic-proteomic techniques is presently characterizing and purifying abnormal expressed gene products that may share similarities in respect with promotion of neurodegenerative disorders including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Parkinson’s disease among others. Based on the outcome of these studies, Dr Pasinetti’s lab is presently using newly developed transgenic mouse models of disease to test pre-clinically the potential therapeutic relevance of novel drug treatments.