Structure and Function of Alpha-Synuclein

Alpha-synuclein is intimately linked to the etiology of both familial and idiopathic Parkinson's disease, but both its functional and pathological roles remain unclear.  We aim to clarify these by linking alpha-synuclein structure to its function and aggregation in vitro and in vivo.

Structure and Function of Tau

Tau is linked to Alzheimer's disease and other dementias both by its presence in pathological neurofibrillary tangle deposits and by genetics.  We aim to determine how the structural properties of tau mediate normal functions associated with microtubule and membrane interactions as well as modulate its aggregation into oligomeric and fibrillar species.

Structure and Function of Complexin

Complexin is a critical regulator of synaptic vesicle release at presynaptic nerve terminals, playing both an inhibitory role in the context of spontaneous release and a potentiating role in synchronous calcium entry driven release.  We aim to understand the role of highly disordered regions of complexin in regulating membrane binding and SNARE binding and to link binding-induced structural transitions in vitro to complexin function in vivo.