Research in this laboratory focuses on the molecular basis of disease in transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) or prion diseases. Prion diseases are a group of neurodegenerative diseases that include sporadic, iatrogenic, and familial Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) in humans: scrapie in sheep; chronic wasting disease (CWD) in deer, elk, and moose; and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in cattle.
The conversion of the normally soluble and protease-sensitive host prion protein, PrPC, to an insoluble and partially protease-resistant form, PrPSc, is a key event in prion pathogenesis, and PrPC is required for prion infection and disease to occur. Using both in vitro and in vivo model systems, our laboratory studies the role of PrPC and PrPSc in several aspects of prion pathogenesis, including: 1) the molecular pathogenesis of prion species barriers and strains; 2) the establishment of acute versus chronic prion infection; 3) the contribution of mitochondria to prion pathogenesis; and 4) the development of prion vaccines and therapeutics.
Suzette A. Priola, Ph.D.
Chief, TSE/Prion Molecular Biology Section
Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Persistent Viral Diseases
Ph.D., 1990, University of California, Los Angeles
Jason R. Hollister, Ph.D.
Ph.D., Molecular Biology, 2003, University of Wyoming
Daniel Shoup, Ph.D. (He/Him/His)
Ph.D., Biochemistry & Biophysics, 2016, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX
Former Research Group Members
Dr. Ina Vorberg, Ph.D. Professor, Deutsches Zentrum für Neurodegenerative Erkrankungen e.V. (DZNE). Bonn, Germany.
Dr. Robert Faris, Ph.D. Associate Research Scientist, Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Iowa, Ames, Iowa USA.
Dr. Young Pyo Choi, DVM, Ph.D. Director, Lab Animal Center, Korea Brain Research Institute, Daegu, South Korea.