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Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD

  • Page and William Black Professor of Neurology (in Pathology and Cell Biology and Neuroscience)
  • Vice Chair of Research, Department of Neurology
  • Co-Director, Motor Neuron Center
  • Director, Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative (CTNI)
Serge Przedborski, MD, PhD

Dr. Przedborski's academic interests focus on the molecular and cellular biology of neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). His ongoing research aims at understanding the contributions of cell-autonomous and non cell-autonomous mechanisms to neurodegeneration using both toxic and genetic experimental models of PD and ALS. In keeping with this goal, how alterations in mitochondrial biology, especially of mitochondrial dynamics and mitophagy, provoke degeneration of specific subpopulations of neurons is one of the main areas of research in the Przedborski laboratory. To what extent and by which mechanisms do non-neuronal cells, like microglia and astrocytes, participate in the demise of neurons in neurodegenerative disorders, such as PD and ALS, represent a second main line of research in this laboratory.

These research efforts are supported by federal grants from both NIH and the DoD as well as by several private agencies such as the Parkinson's Disease Foundation and the Thomas Hartman Foundation. Dr. Przedborski is a Senior Editor for the Journal of Neuroscience and an Associate Editor of Movement Disorders. He also serves as an ad hoc Reviewer for the National Institutes of Health, the Veterans Adminsration, the Department of Defense, the Canadian Medical Research Council, and various medical journals including Science, Nature, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, the New England Journal of Medicine, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA.

My laboratory has concentrated its research efforts on experimental models of Parkinson's disease (PD) and of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Through the use of both in vitro and in vivo models of these two adult-onset neurodegenerative disorders, we have studied the contribution of death of specific subsets of neurons a series of both cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous mechanisms.

Among the cell autonomous mechanisms of neurodegeneration, we have paid particular attention to the role of mitochondria, fist by studying the link of defect in bioenergetic and neuronal death; then by linking respiratory defect to program cell death, and more recently by studying defect in mitophagy and neuronal death.  Our recent results have shown that PINK1 and Parkin interact to modulate the turnover of defective mitochondria and that in presence of PINK1 and/or Parkin mutations, mitochondrial quality control mechanisms are defective. Currently, we thus try to understand PINK1 normal function and how it communicates with Parkin. We also study the actual molecular basis of mitophagy and how any defect in such mechanism of quality control could cause neurodegeneration.

Among the non-cell autonomous mechanisms of neurodegeneration, we have first studied the actual role and molecular determinants of neuroinflammation, i.e. how activated microglia and reactive astrocytes could mediate neuronal death. More recently, we have found that astrocytes derived from both experimental models of disease such as ALS and from patients can provoke the death of specific neurons. Currently, we are thus searching at identifying the nature of the toxic factor(s) mediating this neurodegeneration phenomenon; at defining the molecular cascade of death engaged within specific of neurons upon exposure to toxic astrocytes, and at miniaturizing this in vitro model of ALS to use it for high-throughput screening of small molecules library.   

Departmental Appointments

  • Department of Neurology
    Division of Movement Disorders
  • Department of Pathology & Cell Biology

Areas of Expertise

  • Neurology

Languages Spoken

(in addition to English)

  • French

Education & Training

  • Universite Libre de Bruxelles Faculty of Medicine (Belgium)
  • Residency: Universite Libre de Bruxelles (Belgium)
  • Fellowship: NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center

Centers/Institutes/Programs

  • Columbia Translational Neuroscience Initiative
  • Motor Neuron Center

Provider Affiliations

  • NewYork-Presbyterian/Columbia

This provider does not accept new patients

Contact Phone Number: (212) 342-4119

Lab Locations

  • 630 West 168th Street
    P&S 5-420
    New York, NY 10032
    Phone:
    (212) 342-4119
    Lab Phone:
    (212) 305-8689
    Email:
    sp30@cumc.columbia.edu

Research Interests

  • Neurodegeneration
  • Neurobiology of Disease
  • Molecular and Cellular Biology of Neurodegeneration
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Motor Neuron Biology and Diseases
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Mitochondria Biology and Disease
  • Mitophagy
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Microglia
  • Astrocytes
  • Apoptosis
  • Necroptosis
  • Bioinfomatics
  • High-throughput Screening
  • Stem Cell Biology
  • Neural Degeneration and Repair
  • Motor Systems

NIH Grants

  • NON-CELL AUTONOMOUS ROLE OF SYNUCLEIN IN NEURODEGENERATION (Federal Gov)

    Feb 1 2017 - Jan 31 2019

    ROLE OF MMP-9 IN SELECTIVE MOTOR NEURON DEGENERATION IN ALS (Federal Gov)

    Jun 1 2013 - Mar 31 2018

    ENHANCING ANIMAL CARE IN A NEW HIGH-THROUGHPUT RODENT BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS CORE FACILITY (Federal Gov)

    Mar 15 2016 - Mar 14 2017

    BIOGEN GRANT (Private)

    Nov 25 2015 - Nov 24 2016

    A CELL-BASED ASSAY TO IDENTIFY NEUROPROTECTIVE MOLECULES FOR THE TREATMENT OF AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2013 - Sep 29 2016

    SIGNALING PATHWAYS OF NECROPTOSIS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2014 - Aug 31 2016

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2016

    OCULOMOTOR RESISTANCE IN ALS:PROJECT 2-NOVEL MARKERS OF SELECTIVE AND VULNERABILITY (Private)

    Jan 1 2013 - Dec 31 2015

    MECHANISMS OF DOPAMINE NEURON DEGENERATION (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2000 - Jul 31 2015

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTER GRANT (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2015

    EVALUATING HMG-COA REDUCTASE AS A THERAPEUTIC TARGET IN ALS (Federal Gov)

    Feb 1 2013 - Jan 31 2015

    C-JUN-N-TERMINAL KINASE (JNK) FOR THE TREATMENT OF AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2012 - Sep 29 2014

    PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTE (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2014

    PARKINSON S DISEASE FOUNDATION RESEARCH CENTE (Private)

    Jul 1 2000 - Jun 30 2014

    PROINFLAMMATORY ENZYMES IN AMYTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2001 - Feb 28 2014

    PRE-CLINICAL TESTING OF NECROSTATIN AS A POTENTIAL SMALL MOLECULE FOR THE TREATMENT OF ALS (Federal Gov)

    Jan 15 2011 - Dec 31 2013

    DEFECTS OF MITOCHONDRIAL DYNAMICS IN ALS (Federal Gov)

    Jan 15 2009 - Dec 31 2013

    CELL-BASED ASSAYS FOR THE SCREENING OF NEUROPROTECTIVE SMALL MOLECULE FOR ALS (Private)

    Sep 1 2012 - Aug 31 2013

    SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (SMA): DISEASE PHENOTYPE AND MECHANISMS (Federal Gov)

    Aug 1 2009 - Aug 31 2013

    PRE-CLINICAL TESTING OF NEW HYDROXYBUTYRATE ANALOGUES (Federal Gov)

    Jul 1 2010 - Jun 30 2013

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 20 10-2011 (Private)

    Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

    PARKINSONS DISEASE FOUNDATION (PDF) RESEARCH CENTER GRANT 2012-2013 (Private)

    Jul 1 2009 - Jun 30 2013

    LOCALIZATION OF A-SYNUCLEIN IN MITOCHONDRIAL-ASSOCIATED ER MEMBRANES (MAM): A NEW INSIGHT INTO THE PATHOGENESIS OF PD (Private)

    Jun 30 2012 - Jun 29 2013

    INTERACTION OF SYNUCLEIN AND INFLAMMATION IN DOPAMINERGIC NEURODEGERATION (Federal Gov)

    Jun 30 2008 - Jun 29 2013

    PINK1 ROLE IN MITOPHAGY (Private)

    Jun 1 2011 - May 31 2013

    HUMAN IPS CELLS AS A MODEL TO STUDY ALS PATHOGENESIS (NY State Gov)

    Jan 1 2009 - Dec 31 2012

    NEUROPROTECTIVE SMALL MOLECULES FOR THE TREATMENT OF AMYOTRO PHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 1 2008 - Sep 30 2012

    PARKINSON DISEASE IPS CELL LINE RESEARCH CONSORTIUM (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2009 - Aug 31 2012

    PARKINSON''S DISEASE IPS CELL LINE RESEARCH (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2009 - Aug 31 2012

    PATHOLOGICAL INTERACTIONS OF ALPHA- SYNUCLEIN, MITOCHONDRIA AND PESTICIDES IN PD MODELS (Federal Gov)

    Sep 30 2009 - Jul 31 2012

    A NOVEL CELL-BASED HIGH-THROUGHPUT ASSAY FOR ALS (Federal Gov)

    Mar 1 2009 - Feb 29 2012

    NADPH-OXIDASE MPTP SUBMISSION FOR THE HARTMAN FOUNDATION (Private)

    Jun 1 2008 - May 31 2011

    CHARACTERIZATION OF AN IN VITRO MODEL OF MOTOR NEURON DEGENE RATION IN SPINAL MUSCULAR ATROPHY (Private)

    Apr 1 2009 - Mar 31 2011

    PROGRAM PROJECT ON THE PATHOGENESIS AND TREATMENT OF PARKINS ON S DISEASE (Federal Gov)

    Dec 1 2002 - Dec 31 2009