A Virtual Center
The first center of its kind connecting diverse expertise on disorders of abnormal protein accumulations and perturbations in “protein quality control”
Four Research Hubs
Our hubs investigate several of the most important research questions linking various PFDs. Each hub is comprised of basic and clinical-scientists and mines expertise across disciplines and diseases.
We study protein quality control across translational models of cancer, cardiovascular disease and neurodegeneration with the goal of defining mechanisms of protein homeostasis and identifying therapeutic targets. Our unified approach is based on the realization that a single cellular machinery, the Hsp90/Hsp70 based chaperone machinery, controls the activity.
There has been a recent explosion in the number of identified disorders linked to protein misfolding in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). We are exploring potential therapies including treatments designed to avoid ER protein folding overload, enhance endogenous ER chaperone activities, and promote ER-associated degradation of misfolded mutant proteins.
Many devastating human diseases arise from the accumulation of unfolded and aggregated proteins including amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), AD, HD and PD. How unfolded proteins, either as soluble or aggregated species, cause disease remains poorly understood, and multiple mechanisms are likely involved.
Research in Hub 4 strives to go beyond the “beta amyloid hypothesis” of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to address other factors contributing to AD and related forms of dementia. There are two major goals: 1) use interdisciplinary approaches to gain insight into disease mechanisms; 2) understand the relationship between altered metabolism and dementia symptom onset and disease severity.
Defining Protein Folding Diseases
At the root of many diseases is a cause hidden in molecules. It involves mutating protein molecules, which we refer to as protein misfolding. View this video to learn more about the Protein Folding Diseases Initiative at the University of Michigan.
Peter Arvan - New Co-Director of PFD
Peter Arvan, M.D., Ph.D., Chief of the Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes (MEND) and Professor of Medicine and Physiology, has graciously agreed to be the new Co-Director of PFD, along side Andy Lieberman. Peter is currently the Co-Director of the Endoplasmic Reticulum Hub (Hub 2). We welcome Peter in this new role with PFD!
Henry Paulson Named Interim Director of Michigan Neuroscience Institute
Congratulations to Henry “Hank” Paulson who was approved by the Board of Regents to serve as Interim Director of the Michigan Neuroscience Institute (MNI), effective March 1!