The primary goal of our research is to reveal the cellular and molecular basis of neurodegenerative diseases. For this, we use disease model systems such as fruit flies (Drosophila Melanogaster) and mammalian cell culture.
In a collaboration basis, these neuronal changes are further analyzed by systems biology.
Notably, many neurodegenerative diseases are often associated with obvious and specific neuronal abnormalities during early stage of the diseases that precede massive neuronal cell death.
But, our understanding on the molecular details and the clinical implications of these neuronal abnormalities is very limited since most of related researches focus primarily on the neuronal cell death observed in the late stage of the diseases that may not account for the early symptoms.
So, our ongoing approach based on this unique research angle will provide invaluable clues to understanding these diseases and also will contribute to the future development of new and effective treatments.
We are also interested in revealing the molecular details of neuronal maintenance and remodeling during aging of animals and their implication in neurodegenerative diseases.
Studying neuronal maintenance and remodeling is very important to better understand brain aging and late-onset neuronal disorders.
We work on these subjects in a strong collaboration basis with a couple of top-notching groups in Korea.
Our four major questions are:
1. What is the "cellular basis" of neurodegenerative diseases?
2. How can we ameliorate the toxicity of aggregated proteins associated with neurodegenerative diseases?
3. What's the relationship between neural cellular aging and late-onset neurodegenerative diseases?
4. What's the physiological consequence of altered cellular ion & mRNA homeostasis?