About David R Borchelt
Dr. Borchelt is a Professor of Neuroscience at the University of Florida College of Medicine and Director of SantaFe Health Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. He received his PhD in Microbiology/Virology in 1986 from the University of Kentucky and went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship (1986-1989) at the University of California, San Francisco. His laboratory is committed to investigations designed to elucidate the molecular processes by which specific mutant proteins cause disease. This work involves the use of transgenic mouse models, knockout mice, and cell culture systems to examine the effect of mutations on the function and biology of the mutated proteins. Collectively, these approaches provide insight into the molecular mechanisms of disease and have the potential to identify new therapeutic strategies for these disorders.
Dr. Borchelt’s research is focused on defining the basic molecular events that underlie human neurodegenerative diseases, and using this information to develop new therapeutic strategies. To accomplish these goals, his lab uses a variety of model systems to understand how mutations in specific genes cause diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Alzheimer’s disease. As they have begun to decipher the mechanisms of these diseases, his lab has found common features that implicate common pathways. One of the common features of these disorders is the presence of pathological structures in brain or spinal cord that are composed of misfolded proteins. Recent studies have revealed that the misfolded pathologic proteins in ALS and Alzheimer’s disease can exhibit prion-like properties to mediate the spread of pathology throughout the brain or spinal cord. His lab is currently focused on understanding the mechanisms by which pathology seems to spread in the nervous system and identify therapies to slow this spread.