Much of the research in our laboratory involves the study of interactions between the nervous and immune systems. Using knockout mice and over-expression in vivo with viral vectors, we are exploring the role of the neuropoietic cytokine leukemia inhibitor factor (LIF) in regulating neural stem cell proliferation and fate in the adult brain. LIF is also being tested in a gene therapy for a mouse model of multiple sclerosis. In the context of neuroimmune interactions during fetal brain development, we are investigating a mouse model of a known risk factor for autism and schizophrenia, maternal infection. How the maternal inflammatory response alters fetal brain development and subsequent behavior of the offspring is being examined, and potential therapeutic interventions are being explored. Huntington's disease is another focus, where we are investigating potential therapies using intracellular expression of antibodies (intrabodies) and also manipulating IKKβ activity in mouse models. We are also studying the regulation of MeCP2 by IKKα, because MeCP2 mutations are responsible for Rett syndrome, which frequently involves autism symptoms.
Anne P. and Benjamin F. Biaggini Professor of Biological Sciences
Address: 1200 E. California Blvd. Pasadena, CA 91125
Mail code: 216-76
Office: 151B Beckman Behavioral Laboratories
Phone: (626) 395-6826
New book: http://mitpress.mit.edu/catalog/item/default.asp?ttype=2&tid=12756
Book blog: https://infectiousbehavior.wordpress.com/
Another new book: http://www.cup.columbia.edu/book/978-0-231-15124-5/the-origins-of-schizophrenia
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