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Stuart Lipton's Research Focus

Neurodegenerative Diseases, Alzheimer's Disease (AD), Parkinson’s Disease (PD), Stroke and Vascular Dementia (VaD), Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS,. Lou Gehrig's Disease), HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Disorder (HAND), Huntington's Disease (HD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)

The Lipton laboratory studies molecular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases and stroke, including the role of excessive stimulation of ion channels and intracellular signaling pathways in nerve cells. Among the laboratory's accomplishments and ongoing activities are (i) the development of the first glutamate receptor/channel antagonist drug (Memantine/Namenda®), representing the most recent therapeutic to be clinically approved for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease by the European Union and the FDA, (ii) discovery with colleagues of the posttranslational protein modification termed S-nitrosylation (reaction of NO with a critical thiol group to control protein function), (iii) characterization of signaling events leading to neuronal injury and apoptosis in AIDS, and (iv) discovery and cloning of the transcription factor MEF2C that programs human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) to become nerve cells in the brain and whose knock down in the brain of rodents and humans causes Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). These studies have led to the development of the first neuroprotective drugs to be administered successfully to humans to combat various neurodegenerative and vascular diseases of the brain.

 

 

 

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