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Kanae Iijima-Ando, PhD

Contact Dr. Iijima-Ando

900 Walnut Street
Suite 410
Philadelphia, PA 19107

(215) 503-9897
(215) 955-4949 fax

Research and Clinical Interests

Drosophila Neurobiology, neurodegenerative diseases,Synucleopathy

Accumulation of misfolded-synuclein causes neurodegenerative disorders termed "synucleinopathies". It includes diseases with different clinical and pathological manifestations such as Parkinson's disease and Lewy body dementia (LBD). PD is characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons in the Substantia Nigra, while cholinergic neurons are mainly affected in LBD. It suggests that an accumulation of a-synuclein may induce cell-type specific pathological consequences. My research focus on the mechanism underlying cell-type specificity of - synuclein induced toxicity.

We use fruit flies, Drosophila melanogaster, as a model system to search for genes that suppress neurodegeneration induced by a-synuclein. Fly models of Parkinson's Disease recapitulated some of the pathological features including neurodegeneration and aggregation formation. Flies have highly organized brains, and many genes and basic cellular machineries are conserved in flies. Short life span of the flies enable us to study age-dependent effect more time efficient manner. Furthermore, genetic tools are available for cell-type specific gene expression. We are searching candidate genes and pathways by DNA microarray analysis.

Drosophila can contribute to study of humandiseases as a tool of gene discovery and efficient mean for in vivo functional assessment of candidate genes. I hope my findings will shed light on pathogenesis of PD and other syncleinopathies and open novel therapeutic avenues in future.