Taub Institute: Genomics Core
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Featured Research

In the Lab:
Alejandro Chavez, MD, PhD

Alejandro Chavez, PhD

Alejandro Chavez, MD, PhD

Our research group strives to push the boundaries of genetic engineering in order to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms governing neurodegeneration. Our work employs a variety of techniques ranging from oligo chip synthesis and library-based screening to iPS cell differentiation and live-cell imaging. We utilize a variety of model systems from single celled eukaryotes (yeast) to laboratory grown 3D organ models to allow us to address our multidisciplinary research agenda.

A major effort of our laboratory is to characterize the molecular interactions governing the profound neuronal loss observed within numerous neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Since joining the Taub Institute, we have developed a method for studying dozens of neurodegenerative disease models in parallel. Using this new approach, we have looked at tens of thousands of genetic interactions and have begun to catalogue the common and unique mechanisms by which proteins implicated in neurodegeneration lead to cellular pathology.

From left to right, members of the Chavez group include (back row) James DiCarlo, Schuyler Melore, (front row) Paroma Mallick, Debbie Hong, Jenny Sheng, Brijesh Singh, Alex Chavez, Samuel Resnick.

Other efforts within our group are focused on understanding how genetics and environment interact to influence the effect of perturbations which normally lead to neurodegeneration. By combining our tools with the plethora of neurodegenerative disease expertise within the Taub, we hope to shed additional light on the molecular basis of these diseases with the ultimate goal of generating new avenues for therapeutic intervention.

Alejandro Chavez, MD, PhD
Assistant Professor of Pathology & Cell Biology

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