People in the Bassell Lab

Gary J. Bassell, Ph.D.Gary J. Bassell, PhD
Professor and Chair
gbassel@emory.edu

Gary J. Bassell, Ph.D. joined the faculty at Emory University School of Medicine in 2005, where he is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Cell Biology http://cellbio.emory.edu. Prior to moving Emory, Dr. Bassell was a member of the faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Department of Anatomy and Structural Biology (1995-1998) and subsequently in the Department of Neuroscience and Rose Kennedy Center for Mental Retardation (1998-2005). Read More

Anwesha Banerjee

Anwesha Banerjee, PhD
Assistant Scientist
anwesha.banerjee@emory.edu

My overall research focuses on understanding the central nervous system (CNS) associated molecular and behavioral pathology in repeat expansion disorders such as Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1) and Fragile X syndrome. My current project involves using a novel AAV based mice model to  characterize how dysregulation of specific RNA processing events is linked to molecular, cellular, and behavioral phenotypes observed in DM1. This will advance the end goal of identify potential genetic, small molecule and pharmacological therapeutic interventions  to rescue DM1 associated CNS phenotypes.

Penny Buelow

Pernille (Penny) Buelow
Graduate Student (PhD program, Neuroscience)
pernille.buelow@emory.edu

My project is investigating how homeostatic plasticity mechanisms may contribute to cortical hyperexcitability in the Fragile X Syndrome. 

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Kamyra Edokpolor
Graduate Student (PhD program, Neuroscience)
kamyra.edokpolor@emory.edu

My research centers around using mouse models to elucidate neural mechanisms underlying impairments in inhibitory brain circuits in Myotonic Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1). DM1 is a neuromuscular, neurodegenerative, and multisystemic disease with many of its central nervous system symptoms, such as emergence and recovery from anesthesia and hypersomnia under-researched. My research examines how sequestration of Muscle blind like protein 2 (MBNL2) RNA-binding protein alters the expression of specific inhibitory receptors, which may play a role in delayed emergence and recovery from anesthesia and increased sleep phenotypes observed in DM1.

 

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Luke Knudson
Graduate Student (PhD program, Biomedical Engineering)
luke.knudson@emory.edu

I am currently investigating the interaction between Muscleblind-like (MBNL) RNA-binding protein and kinesin motor proteins and the role that this interaction plays in proper localization of mRNA in neurons. mRNA mislocalization due to MBNL nuclear sequestration is one of the major pathogenic contributors to myotonic dystrophy.

 

 

Dr. ShiLiang Shi, PhD
Assistant Scientist
liang.shi@emory.edu

My overall research focuses on understanding mechanisms of axonal mRNA transport and local protein synthesis in neurons. In particular, I am studying the role of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein (FMRP) in cultured neurons using fluorescence microscopy and live cell imaging methods. This will expand our understanding of Fragile X Syndrome and promote development of therapeutic strategies.

   

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Kun Lin
Graduate Student (PhD program, Neuroscience)
kun.lin@emory.edu

I'm interested in the mechanisms underlying the gain-of-function RNA toxicity in the central nervous system in repeat expansion disorders such as Muscular Dystrophy Type 1 (DM1). Specifically, I'm interested in using a mouse model of DM1 to identify the molecular pathways affected directly and indirectly by the presence of the expanded trinucleotide CTG repeats in the central nervous system.

Zachary Mceachin

Zachary Mceachin, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
zmceach@emory.edu

My research is focused on understanding shared mechanisms between C9 ALS/FTD and Spinocerebeallar Ataxia type 36 (SCA36).  These diseases are caused by a similar hexanucleotide repeat expansion in the first intron of C9orf72 (C9ALS) and NOP56 (SCA36).  To investigate the molecular etiology and pathogenesis of these disorders we are using a variety of model systems such as patient specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs).

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GiaLinh (Linda) Nguyen, MPH
Research Administrative Coordinator
Linda.gia@emory.edu

As the Research Administrative Coordinator for the Bassell Lab, I ensure that the lab is in compliance with Emory’s research policies. My primary duties include overseeing daily lab activities, tracking laboratory expenditures, monitoring grant budgets, ordering laboratory consumables and chemical reagents, and maintaining laboratory records, biosafety manuals, chemical stock, and communal lab space in accordance with laboratory and biosafety regulations. I also assist the graduate students and research staff with various administrative tasks as needed.

Phillip Price

Phillip Price
Graduate Student (PhD program)
plprice@emory.edu

My research is focused on examining how defects in mRNA processing and
localization contributes to the disease pathology of Spinal Muscular
Atrophy in vivo.

Ryan Purcell

Ryan Purcell, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
ryan.purcell@emory.edu

3q29 deletion is a recurrent copy number variant and is the highest known genetic risk factor for schizophrenia. However, the molecular basis for this risk has not been identified and is a major unanswered question. The goal of my research is to characterize the neuronal consequences of 3q29 deletion using both a mouse model and human cells. My primary focus is the generation of neurons from patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells for morphological and signaling pathway analysis. These studies will help us to better understand the cellular and molecular consequences of this genetic variant and may also provide important insights into the molecular basis of schizophrenia.

Nisha Raj

Nisha Raj, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow
nraj2@emory.edu

I am interested in studying the molecular mechanisms underlying specific cognitive, cellular and synaptic impairments seen in FXS, 15q13DS, DiGeorge syndrome and other autism related neurodevelopmental disorders. I am using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-derived neurons from patients with known genetic mutations to investigate abnormalities in neuronal morphology, signaling and protein synthesis, as well as to screen potential therapeutic interventions. 

Arielle Valdez

Arielle Valdez
Graduate Student (MD/PhD program, Neuroscience)
arielle.nicole.valdez@emory.edu

My research focuses on the physiologic regulation of the Fragile X Mental Retardation Protein's (FMRP) targeting of mRNAs and the RNA-induced silencing complex (RISC). Specifically, my current project is exploring the ubiquitination of FMRP following mGluR5 stimulation.