The mission of my laboratory is to understand the neurobiology of Alzheimer’s disease and frontotemporal dementia and to contribute to developing effective treatments for these conditions. We study the mechanisms of neuronal dysfunction in models of AD and FTD using a multidisciplinary approach that combines physiology and behavior, biochemistry and molecular biology, pharmacology and drug discovery, and gene engineering and imaging. The lab primarily focuses on tau, progranulin, and recently discovered genetic risk factors for AD. We helped demonstrate a critical role for tau downstream of Aβ and the importance of tau-dependent neuronal hyperexcitability in AD pathogenesis. We have also developed models of FTD due to progranulin insufficiency and provided preclinical evidence supporting therapeutic strategies for boosting progranulin, including gene therapy.
Erik D. Roberson, MD, PhD