Our group is interested in understanding how alpha-synuclein contributes to the neurodegenerative processes in Parkinson’s disease, Lewy body dementia and multiple systems atrophy, which are hallmarked by the development of intracellular aggregates of alpha-synuclein. This is investigated in studies of alpha-synuclein aggregates in vitro, in cell models, transgenic animals and human tissue and involves development of new aggregate selective tools.
The aim is to decipher how cells regulate their pools of alpha-synuclein species and how they respond to misfolded alpha-synuclein with respect to cytotoxic and protective mechanisms that can be targeted by therapy. This involves proteostatic mechanisms like autophagy, unconventional secretion, prion-like intercellular propagation and homeostatic cellular mechanisms being offset by alpha-synuclein aggregates.
Currently specific projects focuses on alpha-synucleins role in calcium regulation, kinase pathways regulating alpha-synuclein turn-over and toxicity, relation to the innate immune system and implementation of a mouse model for prion-like spreading of alpha-synuclein brain pathology.
The Jensen group currently has projects available for Master and PhD students. Please contact Group Leader Poul Henning Jensen directly, if interested.