Ulf Dettmer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases · Brigham and Women's Hospital
Hale Building for Transformative Medicine, 60 Fenwood Road, Boston, MA
Since Dr. Ulf Dettmer’s first undergrad internship, his research has been dedicated to understanding the cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative disease pathogenesis. His PhD work at the LMU Munich (Christian Haass Lab) focused on an Alzheimer’s-disease-related topic, his postdoctoral work at BWH/HMS (Dennis Selkoe lab) contributed to a new paradigm for Parkinson’s disease (PD) pathogenesis: native α-synuclein multimerization.
Dr. Dettmer’s lab explores new strategies for the treatment of PD and related synucleinopathies such as Dementia with Lewy bodies. These diseases are characterized by the aggregation of the protein α-synuclein, an abundant nerve cell component in the brain. With no disease-modifying drugs available, there is a great need for robust models that recapitulate how early changes in the normal maintenance of α-synuclein can lead to these aggregates.
Combining cell biology, biochemistry, microscopy, high-content imaging and screening approaches, Dr. Dettmer and his team want to: understand normal αS cell biology, characterize abnormal αS states, transform abnormal αS states into screenable phenotypes, and use the correction of abnormal states as a readout for drug discovery.