DepartmentDepartment of Cell Systems and Anatomy
Bess Frost, Ph.D.
Studies focus on the fundamental processes in cell biology that drive neurodegeneration. Employing a multi-system approach to rapidly identify, test and validate hypotheses that are relevant to human disease. Early discovery takes place in Drosophila, a model organism that is well suited for investigating issues of causality in disease processes. To determine if studies are relevant to human disease, the research complements Drosophila work with comparative analyses in postmortem human brain.
A significant focus is on tauopathy. Tauopathies, including Alzheimer’s disease, are pathologically characterized by the deposition of neurofibrillary tangles composed of tau protein in the brains of affected individuals. Current objectives include investigating the cellular pathway whereby pathogenic tau mediates neuronal death and developing a novel screening platform to identify cellular mediators of prion-like tau propagation.
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