Marija Cvetanovic

Associate Professor

Research Summary

Glial Cells in Neurodegenerative Disease Our lab aims to understand how different brain cells and their interactions influence the onset and progression of neurodegenerative diseases. In particular we study the involvement of astrocytes and microglia in the pathogenesis of inherited neurodegenerative disease Spinocerebellar ataxia type 1(SCA1). SCA1 belongs to the family of polyglutamine diseases, that include Huntington's disease as it is caused by the expansion of CAG repeat (encoding for glutamine) in the coding region of Ataxin-1 gene. To do this we are using mouse genetics, cell and molecular biology techniques, mouse behavior, confocal microscopy and flow cytometry. The ultimate goal is to increase knowledge of the cellular and molecular pathways that underlie pathology of neurodegenerative disorders and open new avenues for therapeutic approaches. Another main focus of the lab is to train the next generations of scientists by creating the supportive environment that is conductive to learning, creating and testing new ideas.