Biological Tissue Sample Studies: New Biomarkers and Laboratory Models to Understand Disease Mechanisms and Screen Potential Treatments

Patients and families we work with generously donate blood samples, spinal fluid samples, skin samples, and eventually the brain after a person passes away. Using these samples, we have worked with many collaborators to discover new biomarkers of these diseases that may be helpful in diagnosis or monitoring and to use these biological samples to help generate new kinds of models that can be used in the laboratory to better understand the biological and chemical abnormalities associated with these diseases. These laboratory models can also be used to screen new potential treatments for abnormalities in the cellular pathways that enable our brain cells to function properly.

Selected Publications

  • Silva MC, Nandi GA, Tentarelli S, Gurrell IK, Jamier T, Lucente D, Dickerson BC, Brown DG, Brandon NJ, Haggarty SJ. Prolonged tau clearance and stress vulnerability rescue by pharmacological activation of autophagy in tauopathy neurons. Nat Commun. 2020 Jun 26;11(1):3258. doi: 10.1038/s41467-020-16984-1.
  • Silva MC, Ferguson FM, Cai Q, Donovan KA, Nandi G, Patnaik D, Zhang T, Huang HT, Lucente DE, Dickerson BC, Mitchison TJ, Fischer ES, Gray NS, Haggarty SJ. Targeted degradation of aberrant tau in frontotemporal dementia patient-derived neuronal cell models. Elife 2019; 8.
  • Ljubenkov PA, Staffaroni AM, Rojas JC, Allen IE, Wang P, Heuer H, Karydas A, Kornak J, Cobigo Y, Seeley WW, Grinberg LT, Spina S, Fagan AM, Jerome G, Knopman D, Boeve BF, Dickerson BC, Kramer J, Miller B, Boxer AL, Rosen HJ. Cerebrospinal fluid biomarkers predict frontotemporal dementia trajectory. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2018 Sep 20;5(10):1250-1263.