Wolfgang J. Streit, Ph.D.

Wolfgang StreitProfessor

Department of Neuroscience
University of Florida
1149 Newell Drive
Gainesville, FL  32611-0244

Email:            pschorr@ufl.edu
Office Phone:  (352) 273-5096
Lab Phone:      (352) 392-9596

Education:

1985 Ph.D.
(Pathology/Neuropathology)
Medical University of South Carolina
Charleston, SC
1985-1986 Postdoctoral Fellowship
(Neurobiology)
Max Planc Institute for Neurobiology
Martinsried, Germany
1986-1989 Staff Scientist
(Neurobiology)
Max Planc Institute for Neurobiology
Martinsried, Germany

Key Words:   Microglial Cells; Experimental Neuropathology; Neuroimmunology; Neuroinflammation; Alzheimer’s disease

Research Summary & Focus:

My research remains focused on the role of microglial cells during brain aging and in the development of Alzheimer’s disease, but is currently expanding to include the role of microglia in drug addiction during HIV infection.

I study a population of cells in the brain called microglial cells. Microglia make up the brain’s immune system and they are thought to be very important for protecting neurons and making sure that brain function is maintained into old age. I have found out that microglia are subject to deterioration and I have been able to link this microglial degeneration with the onset of neurodegenerative diseases, especially Alzheimer’s and Lou Gehrig’s disease, and possibly others. .

In my laboratory, the goal is to understand microglial cell function in both the normal and pathologically altered CNS. In particular, we are very interested in determining the role of microglia in the pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases, notably Alzheimer’s disease and Lewy body dementia. Much of our current and prior work has been done through histopathological examination of human brain samples derived from individuals with these diseases.  Based on these studies we have found that, contrary to the prevailing view in the scientific community, microglia are not overly activated in these diseases but instead are subject to degeneration themselves. We are therefore pursuing the idea that neuronal degeneration in Alzheimer’s occurs because neurons are losing microglial neuroprotective support on account that the brain’s immune system is failing.

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