Nikolay Dokholyan, PhD (UNC)

“Understanding the etiology of the Lou Gehrig’s disease”

When Sep 17, 2013
from 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM
Where Bioinformatics 1131
Contact Name
Contact Phone 919-843-9986
Attendees open to the public
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Nikolay Dokholyan, PhD

Nikolay Dokholyan, PhD

Professor, Biochemistry and Biophysics
Director of Graduate Studies, Program in Molecular and Cellular Biophysics
UNC-Chapel Hill

SEMINAR: Understanding the etiology of the Lou Gehrig’s disease

Host: Leslie Parise, PhD


Listen to a podcast about the seminar

Text of seminar:

Hello, welcome to the science seminar preview from the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. My name is Ariana Bevilacqua and I am second year graduate student in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics. I would like to tell you about an upcoming seminar that you will not want to miss. On Tuesday, September 17th. Dr. Nikolay Dokholyan a professor in our department will speak on "Understanding the etiology of the Lou Gehrig’s disease”.

Lou Gehrig's disease, also known as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis or ALS is a late onset neurodegenerative disorder that affects 2-3 per 100 thousand people and usually results in death in just 1-5 years. The disease presents as a select loss of motor neurons resulting in slow, progress paralyzes without any cognitive defects. Unfortunately, the mechanizes behind this neuordegeneration largely remains a mystery. While oxidative stress and aggregation and mis-folded proteins has been shown to contribute to the disease -- the root causes evade us preventing the development of any effective treatments of ALS.

More than 90 mutations to the cytoplasmic copper-zinc superoxidized dismutase SOD1 has been identified in ALS. The identification of SOD1 mutations provided the first incite to what causes neuronal death in ALS, allowing an avenue for research in disease mechanism and suggesting potential targets for treatment. However, how SOD1 mutations are relevant to ALS and what non-genetic targets contribute to ALS remain unknown. Because patients with the same SOD1 mutations can show wildly different disease progression. The Dokholyan group is examining the interplay between SOD1 mutations and non-genetic contributors to ALS.

Dr. Dokholyan has exciting evidence that showing that post-translational oxidative modification of SOD1 can profoundly destabilize the protein especially in combination with genetic mutations. Please join us for Dr. Dokholyan's at 11am at 1131 Bioinformatics to learn more about this novel incites into the causes of Lou Gehrig's disease.

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