Parkinson’s disease is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder. It is characterized by misfolded alpha-synuclein deposits and dopaminergic neuron death, which lead to progressive motor impairment and disability. Despite extensive efforts, there are no disease-modifying therapies available for Parkinson’s disease or related “alpha-synucleinopathies.” Glia may represent a source of untapped therapeutic potential.
In this webinar sponsored by BioLegend, Abby Olsen, Associate Neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, will discuss how an innovative Drosophila model helps explore the genetic contribution of glia to Parkinson’s disease pathogenesis. She will review how forward genetic screens identify novel glial genes and potential therapeutic targets for downstream investigation in mammalian systems and patients.
Topics to be covered
- A Drosophila model of neurodegenerative alpha-synucleinopathies
- The role of alpha-synuclein in glia
- The unique transcriptional signature of alpha-synuclein in glia in Parkinson’s disease
- The pathogenic effects and mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease candidate genes when expressed in the glia
- Genetic screens to identify novel glial genes and potential therapeutic targets
Meet the speaker:
Abby Olsen, MD, PhD
Brigham and Women’s Hospital
Instructor in Neurology
Harvard Medical School