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Asa Abeliovich, MD, PhD

  • Associate Professor of Pathology and Cell Biology and Neurology (in the Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain)
Asa Abeliovich, MD, PhD

We are studying the molecular bases of midbrain dopamine neuron development, function and survival. Midbrain dopamine neurons are thought to play key roles in learned and addictive behaviors, and degeneration of these neurons underlies Parkinson's disease.

A focus of the lab is to understand the mechanisms by which mutations in Parkinson's disease-related genes, such as a-synuclein and parkin, lead to midbrain dopamine neuron dysfunction and eventual demise. We are also particularly interested in the normal cellular roles of these genes. We use a combination of molecular biological, cellular, and mouse genetic approaches to this end.

In a second project, we are characterizing molecules that play a important roles in the specification and late development of dopamine neurons using an in vitro culture system. Embryonic stem cells have been shown to give rise to dopamine neurons in response to a set of extrinsic cues such as sonic hedgehog and FGF8. Furthermore, a few intrinsic cellular factors, such as nurr1, have been implicated in the generation of dopamine neurons. We are using molecular biological tools to investigate the mechanism by which such intrinsic signals determine midbrain dopamine neuron fate.

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Pathology & Cell Biology
  • Department of Neurology

Education & Training

  • Harvard Medical School
  • Residency: University of California-San Francisco Medical Center

Centers/Institutes/Programs

  • Taub Institute for Research on Alzheimer's Disease and the Aging Brain

Lab Locations

  • William Black Building

    650 West 168th Street
    12th Floor, Room 1208
    New York, NY 10032
    Phone:
    (212) 305-1150
    Email:
    aa900@cumc.columbia.edu

Research Interests

  • Molecular Mechanisms of Neurodegeneration and the Life Cycle of Dopamine Neurons
  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Stem Cell Biology

NIH Grants

  • GENERATION AND INTEGRATION OF NEW CNS NEURONS BY IN VIVO DIRECTED CONVERSION (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2012 - Jul 31 2018

    THE ROLE OF A SYNUCLEIN TRANSCRIPT VARIANTS IN NEURONAL PATHOLOGY AND FUNCTION (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2013 - Mar 31 2018

    TARGETING RETROMER DYSFUNCTION: A CONVERGENT MECHANISM IN FAMILIAL AND SPORADIC PD (Private)

    Sep 1 2014 - Aug 31 2017

    HUMAN INDUCED NEURONAL STEM CELL MODELS OF FAMILIAL ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2012 - Jun 30 2017

    ASYN 3UTR MODULATION IN LRRK2 CARRIERS AS A POTENTIAL BIOMARKER (Private)

    Jun 10 2014 - Nov 30 2015

    ASYN 3 UTR MODULATION IN PARKINSON S DISEASE (Private)

    Oct 1 2013 - Jun 30 2015

    ANALYSIS OF HUMAN INDUCED NEURON MODELS OF FRONTO-TEMPORAL DEMENTIA (Private)

    Jun 27 2013 - Jun 26 2015

    VALIDATING A RETROMER STABILIZING COMPOUND FOR ALZHEIMERS DISEASE THERAPEUTICS (Private)

    Jan 14 2013 - Jan 13 2015

    GENE EXPRESSION REGULATORY CIRCUITRY AND MICRORNAS IN MIDBRAIN DOPAMINE NEURONS (Federal Gov)

    Dec 1 2008 - Nov 30 2013

    CHARACTERIZATION OF HUMAN-INDUCED NEURONAL (HIN) CELLS FROM ALZHEIMER S DISEASE (AD) PATIENTS SKIN FIBROBLASTS AS AN IN VITRO CELLULAR MODEL OF DISEASE (Private)

    Aug 9 2012 - Aug 8 2013

    INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING CASCADES IN IPS REPROGRAMMING (NY State Gov)

    Jan 1 2009 - Dec 31 2012

    AUTOPHAGY AND PROTEIN DEGRADATION IN PARKINSON''S DISEASE MOD ELS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2009 - Jun 30 2012

    HUMAN IPS CELL-BASED MODELS FOR NEURODEGENERATION (NY State Gov)

    Jan 1 2009 - Jun 30 2012

    INTRACELLULAR SIGNALING CASCADES IN IPS REPROGRAMMING (NY State Gov)

    Jan 1 2009 - Jun 30 2012

    GENERATION AND ANALYSIS OF AD PATIENT-DERIVED IPS CELLS: NOV EL THERAPEUTIC APPROACHES AND DISEASE MODELING (Private)

    Jan 1 2009 - Dec 31 2010

    MODIFIED MIRNAS TARGETED AT ASYNUCLEIN AS PD THERAPY (Private)

    Nov 1 2008 - Oct 31 2010

    NOVEL THERAPEUTICS FOR PD (Private)

    Jul 1 2007 - Jun 30 2008

Publications

Staropoli, J. F., McDermott, C., Martinat, C., Schulman, B., Demireva,E, and Abeliovich, A. (2003). Parkin is a Component of an SCF-likeUbiquitin Ligase Complex and Protects Postmitotic Neurons from KainateExcitotoxicity. Neuron 37: 735-749.

Abeliovich, A., Schmitz, Y., Farinas, I., Choi-Lundberg, D., Ho, W.-H., Verdugo, J. M. G., Armanini, M., Ryan, A., Hynes, M., Phillips, H., Sulzer, D., and Rosenthal, A. (1999). Mice lacking a-synuclein display functional deficits in the nigrostriatal dopamine system. Neuron 25, 239-252.

For a complete list of publications, please visit PubMed.gov