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McLean researcher

Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory

The Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory was founded in 1998. Our neuroscientists study the biology of brain cells that rely on dopamine, a brain chemical, to communicate. Disorders such as Parkinson’s Disease and schizophrenia are related to abnormalities affecting these cells.

In addition, our scientists pioneered the development of safe patient-specific stem cells using a new technique—a highly promising breakthrough for treating and studying human diseases.

Understanding and Reversing the Damage to Dopamine Neurons

Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, and autoimmune diseases involve damage to specific cell types. Identifying the defective component(s) helps us develop new treatments. One such component is the protein named Nurr1, which is critical for dopamine neurons and inflammation.

Pioneering Development of Safe Stem Cells

Cell replacement therapies require clinically safe stem cells that can be used to generate many (possibly all) types of cells. We introduced a safe protein-based method to generate these patient-specific stem cells.

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