Talene Yacoubian, M.D., Ph.D. joined the department of Neurology in July of 2006, and is currently an Assistant Professor. Dr Yacoubian received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University, and her MD/PhD from Duke University in 2001. She completed a one year internship at Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Boston and a 3 year Residency in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital/Brigham & Women’s Hospital. She finished a two year Fellowship in Movement Disorders in July of 2007. Dr. Yacoubian is a 2007 recipient of the American Parkinson Disease Association’s George C. Cotzias, MD Memorial Fellowship.
The Yacoubian Lab is focused on understanding the pathophysiology of Parkinson’s disease with the long-term goal of developing neuroprotective therapies. Alpha-synuclein has a central role in the pathogenesis of Parkinson’s disease, yet how it triggers dopaminergic neuron toxicity is poorly understood. We have shown through gene microarray experiments of transgenic alpha-synuclein mice that alpha-synuclein overexpression results in decreased expression of a class of genes encoding the 14-3-3 proteins. Because the 14-3-3s inhibit apoptotic pathways, we are investigating whether decreased 14-3-3 expression is an important step in alpha-synuclein toxicity and whether increasing 14-3-3 levels can mitigate toxicity in both in vitro and in vivo models of Parkinson’s disease. We employ a wide variety of cellular and molecular techniques.
Huiping Ding, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Fellow of Neurology
Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics