Chu Laboratory

Neural circuits and neurodegeneration

Parkinson’s disease is a progressive, neurodegenerative disorder marked by loss of brain cells that produce dopamine, a neuromodulator that regulates voluntary movement and many other biological processes. As gradual depletion of dopamine in the brain and progressive degeneration of these critical cells occurs, the hallmark symptoms of Parkinson’s disease start to appear, including akinesia, bradykinesia, rigidity and tremor.

The Chu Lab integrates molecular, cellular and systems neuroscience to identify mechanisms that contribute to progressive degeneration of midbrain dopaminergic neurons, and abnormal circuit activity that underlies the devastating motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. The long-term goal of the Chu Lab is to develop precision strategies to target specific types of neurons or neural circuits for disease prevention and treatment.

Related Links

Grand Challenges in Parkinson’s disease

VAI Center for Neurodegenerative Science

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

Parkinson’s Foundation

American Parkinson’s disease Association

The Michael J Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research

Aligning Science Across Parkinson’s (ASAP)

NINDS Parkinson’s Disease Research Centers of Excellence

NINDS Parkinson’s Research Page