Dr. Holzbaur's lab is interested in exploring the dynamics of autophagy and mitophagy in neurons, including compartment biogenesis, cargo recognition and capture, and active transport coupled to cargo degradation. Approaches in the lab include live cell imaging in cell lines and primary neurons, in vitro reconstitution assays with single molecule resolution to analyze dynamics of motors and the cytoskeleton, and the development and analysis of animal models for neurodegenerative disease.
Neurons are highly polarized cells that are post-mitotic and must survive for decades in humans. These cells rely on homeostatic mechanisms to maintain cellular health, including autophagy and mitophagy. Deficits in autophagic flux lead to the accumulation of protein aggregates and dysfunctional mitochondria, and are characteristic of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Huntington’s, and ALS. Live cell imaging of autophagy in neurons has revealed a dynamic pathway that is altered in both aging and disease.
Xinnan Wang, Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery, Stanford University
Pre-Seminar January 16th, 2018 at 12:15 PM in Clark S361