Priola Research Group

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 Neurological Infections and Immunity

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Ph.D., 1990, University of California, Los Angeles

Dr. Priola received her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology in 1990 from the University of California, Los Angeles. In 1991, she joined the Rocky Mountain Laboratories where she is now a Senior Investigator. She is a former Chair of the FDA TSE Advisory Committee and is currently Deputy Chief of the Laboratory of Neurological Infections and Immunity and Chief of the TSE/Prion Molecular Biology Section.

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Jason R. Hollister, Ph.D.

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Ph.D., Molecular Biology, 2003, University of Wyoming

Dr. Hollister received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology in 2003 from the University of Wyoming. His current research projects involve studying how glycosylation influences both prion protein function and the formation of infectious prions.

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Daniel Shoup, Ph.D. (He/Him/His)

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Ph.D., Biochemistry & Biophysics, 2016, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Dr. Shoup received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Biophysics from Texas A&M University in 2016 for characterizing the intricacies of protein aggregate disassembly by molecular chaperones using a combination of novel single particle and ensemble fluorescence-based techniques. Using a combination of immunoassays and fluorescence-based techniques, his current research focuses on uncovering how...

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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.

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