Aaron D. Gitler, Ph.D.

Title
Associate Professor
Department
Department of Genetics
Institution
Stanford University
Address
300 Pasteur Drive
M322 Alway Building
City, State, Zip
Stanford, CA 94305-5120
E-mail
agitler[at]stanford.edu
Website
http://gitlerlab.googlepages.com/
Research Field
Neuroscience
Award Year
2008

Research

Protein folding is critically important for all life, from microbes to man. Not unexpectedly, problems in protein folding are the root cause of many of the most devastating diseases, which represent a major challenge to public health worldwide, especially as our population continues to age. Referred to collectively as protein-misfolding disorders, these truly disastrous neurodegenerative diseases include Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease and ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease). Understanding at a mechanistic level the cellular consequences of protein misfolding will help to suggest potential strategies for therapeutic intervention. We use the bakers yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, as a model system to study the cell biology underpinning protein-misfolding diseases. Since dealing with misfolded proteins is an ancient problem, we hypothesize that the mechanisms employed to cope with them are likely conserved from yeast to man. Our long-term goal is to identify the critical genes and cellular pathways affected by misfolded human disease proteins.