Award for Promising Research Trajectory
Associate Professor of Biology Tamily Weissman has been awarded $30,000 to further develop a promising research trajectory, “A new in vivo model to study alpha-synuclein aggregation in Parkinson’s Disease”. This support from the Collins Medical Trust will allow Dr. Weissman to build upon her prior work with undergraduate researchers and apply experimental approaches developed in her lab to the study of neurodegenerative disease. More specifically, in collaboration with Dr. Vivek Unni at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), Dr. Weissman and her team will study the mechanisms of, and identify the steps in, alpha-synuclein aggregation in the living nervous system. One goal of this project is to determine the “phosphorylation code” required for alpha-synuclein aggregation in neuronal presynaptic terminals, which may eventually lead to the development of new therapeutics for Parkinson’s Disease. The aggregation of proteins play a critical role in many neurodegenerative diseases, such as alpha-synuclein in Parkinson’s, but the mechanisms that regulate this aggregation are poorly understood.
Since joining Lewis & Clark in 2011, Dr. Weissman’s research has been recognized in a number of ways, such as her success in securing both private and federal funding, including a very competitive, $823K Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) grant in 2016. More information about the transformative research that continues to happen with Lewis & Clark undergraduates in the Weissman Lab is available on her website.