David G. Standaert, M.D., Ph.D. Principal Investigator, joined the Department of Neurology in July of 2006 and currently holds the John N. Whitaker Chair in Neurology. He serves as the Director of the Division of Movement Disorders and Director of the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics.
Dr. Standaert's lab is interested in the pharmacology and neurochemistry of the basal ganglia and the mechanisms of Parkinson's disease and other conditions which produce abnormalities of movement. Current areas of study include: 1) alteration in gene expression which may underlie the biology of synucleinopathies, including Parkinson's disease and Dementia with Lewy Bodies; 2) modifiers of alpha-synuclein toxicity; 3) the role of microglial reaction and inflammatory processes in the etiology of Parkinson's disease; 4) alterations in the structure and distribution of NMDA glutamate receptors in Parkinson's disease; and 5) the biology and physiology of the protein TorsinA, mutations of which cause early onset torsion dystonia.
Our experimental approaches combine classic neuroanatomical methods with modern techniques of molecular and cell biology, using in situ hybridization, immunohistochemistry, laser capture microdissection, gene array profiling, animal models of disease, and in vitro systems.
Postdoctoral FellowQingmin Ruan, Ph.D.
Research StaffXinru (Joy) Li, Ph.D.
Dee S. Parsons
Medical Scientist Training Program
UAB School of Medicine
AlumniShaji Theodore, B.V.Sc., M.V.Sc., Ph.D.
Harvard Medical School
Division of Comparative Pathology
New England Primate Research Center