"Novel Translational Research Strategies in Parkinson’s Disease"
Anumantha Kanthasamy, Ph.D.
Department of Physiology and Pharmacology
Director, Center for Brain Science and Neurodegenerative Diseases
John H. “Johnny” Isakson Chair for Parkinson’s Research and Georgia Research Alliance Eminent Scholar
University of Georgia
*Lunch provided for in-person attendees
*To participate virtually, CLICK HERE
Anumantha Kanthasamy’s research program has been at the forefront in unraveling the cell signaling mechanisms underlying key pathophysiological processes of PD, including mitochondrial dysfunction, oxidative stress, dopaminergic therapy, aSyn protein aggregation, gut microbiota dysbiosis, exosome trafficking, neuroinflammation, and apoptosis. Furthermore he and his team recently adopted a highly sensitive RT-QuIC assay to successfully detect ultralow levels of pathologic αSyn aggregates from serum, plasma, CSF and submandibular and skin samples from PD and related Parkinsonian disorders. Kanthasamy’s lab translational research efforts also involve testing the efficacy of several small-molecule, peptide, and probiotic therapeutics against select targets in various experimental models of PD such as MPTP, 6-OHDA, MitoPark, and αSyn rodent models to advance them for further preclinical and clinical evaluations. The lab’s translational research efforts have resulted in several patent applications, including utility patent application 16/287,437, “L-Dopa Microbiome Therapy.” This knowledge is key to discovering new biomarkers and will advance the development of novel translational approaches for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases like PD. Kanthasamy’s program has been continuously supported by multiple NIH grants from NIEHS and NINDS for over 20 years, and he is currently funded by NIEHS, NINDS, NIBIB, MJFF, and DoD grants. He has trained over 30 Ph.D. students and his current research program employs over 25 researchers, largely comprising graduate students.
Overall his drive research projects in four major areas:
- Novel apoptotic and compensatory signaling activated during neurotoxic insult in the dopaminergic neurodegenerative process;
- Protein misfolding and neuroinflammatory mechanisms in neurotoxicity;
- Epigenetic reprogramming in neurotoxic stress; and
- Translational biomarker and drug discovery in neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration.