The Physical Biology of Neurodegeneration
Protein aggregation is a unifying feature across neurodegenerative diseases, but its biophysical mechanisms are not yet clear. This project will take a biophysical approach, using genetically encoded nanoparticles to track what’s happening inside neurons during phases of protein aggregation. The team hypothesizes that features of cell types, genetics, signaling, and the mechanical environment of the cell come together to impact molecular crowding and aggregation in cells. While protein aggregation has been a topic of intense study, this approach is unique in being able to monitor these cellular events in live cells in real time.