TITLE: “Merging Experimental and Computational Approaches to Study Neurodegenerative Disease Dynamics”
ABSTRACT: Neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s affect millions of people around the world and are a growing health concern in aging populations. A major roadblock in developing effective treatments involve the diverse etiology and progression rates, combined with a lack of clear understanding of how disease alters the nervous system. Basic science plays a crucial role in developing a deeper understanding of pre-symptomatic disease mechanisms using animal models of human disease. Exploiting this opportunity, our lab has taken a unique stride to merge data-driven computational modeling with diverse experimental approaches to examine the workings of a neural microcircuit and its vulnerability in neurodegeneration. In my talk, I will discuss our work on computational and mathematical modeling , use of a biohybrid technique to integrate models into experiments in real-time, and our novel findings in a devastating neurodegenerative motor neuron disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.