Research Theme Beyond the Neuron

Dr Ru Tian

University Position
PhD student


IMAGING ALPHA-SYNUCLEIN OLIGOMERS IN PARKINSON?S DISEASE BRAINS To date, the molecular origins of PD are not fully understood and no disease-modifying treatments are available. Although Lewy bodies are relatively inert, smaller soluble assemblies of ?-synuclein, referred to as oligomers, are likely to be actively neurotoxic. Therefore, investigating the role of ?-synuclein oligomers in PD is a matter of urgency. Given their heterogeneous and transient nature, exploring them at the single-molecule level is important to define their properties and mechanisms of toxicity for diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. To address this problem, we are using super-resolution microscopy to analyze ?-synuclein oligomers in PD brain tissues. Our aim is to generate the first oligomer PD brain map. It will enable us to develop new hypotheses, explore disease mechanisms and identify new therapeutic targets for treating PD.

Key Publications