Gus Davis, M.D., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Movement Disorders

Neurosciences Program
Molecular Cell Biology Program
Immunology Program
Biochemistry, Biophysics, and Structural Biology Program

  • 314-362-6908

  • 314-273-7763

  • 109 Biotechnology Bldg.


  • Understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms of protein aggregation and neurodegeneration in Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies

Research Abstract:

Parkinson disease and dementia with Lewy bodies are neurodegenerative illnesses that result in progressive motor impairment, dementia, and psychosis. These disorders share the common feature of accumulation of insoluble aggregates of the protein alpha-synuclein (aSyn) into inclusions termed Lewy bodies. The molecular and cellular mechanisms that regulate aggregation of aSyn are not well understood, and there are currently no disease-modifying therapies for this class of disorders, termed synucleinopathies. Although aSyn is an abundant brain protein that plays a normal role in neuronal synaptic function, specific aggregated forms of aSyn are toxic and have been used to induce neuron dysfunction and injury in experimental models of synucleinopathy. We use a combination of in vitro, cell culture, and in vivo model systems to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms responsible for pathological aggregation of aSyn and neurodegeneration. The primary goal of our research is to increase our understanding of the basic pathophysiological mechanisms underlying protein aggregation and neurodegeneration in synucleinopathies in order to pave the way for improved diagnostic tests and disease-modifying treatments for these illnesses.

Selected Publications:

Davis AA, Inman CE, Wargel ZM, Dube U, Freeberg BM, Galluppi A, Haines JN, Dhavale DD, Miller R, Choudhury FA, Sullivan PM, Cruchaga C, Perlmutter JS, Ulrich JD, Benitez BA, Kotzbauer PT, Holtzman DM (2020). APOE Genotype Regulates Pathology and Disease Progression in Synucleinopathy. Science Translational Medicine
Feb 5; 12:529

Dube U, Ibanez L, Budde JP, Benitez BA, Davis AA, Harari O, Iles MM, Law MH, Brown KM, 23andMe Research Team, Melanoma-Meta-Analysis Consortium, Cruchaga C (2020). Overlapping genetic architecture between Parkinson disease and melanoma. Acta Neuropathologica Feb;139(2):347-364.

Younce JR, Davis AA, Black KJ (2018). A systematic review and case series of ziprasidone for psychosis in Parkinson disease. Journal of Parkinson’s Disease 9(1):63-71.

Tahsili-Fahadan P, Curfman DR, Davis AA, Yahyavi-Firouz-Abadi N, Rivera-Lara L, Nassif ME, LaRue SJ, Ewald GA, Zazulia AR (2018). Cerebrovascular Events After Continuous-Flow Left Ventricular Assist Devices. Neurocritical Care Oct; 29(2):225-232.

Ibanez L, Dube U, Davis AA, Fernandez MV, Budde J, Cooper B, Diez-Fairen, Ortega-Cubero S, Pastor P, Perlmutter JS, Cruchaga C, Benitez BA (2018). Pleiotropic Effects of Variants in Dementia Genes in Parkinson Disease. Frontiers in Neuroscience Apr 10; 12:230.

Last Updated: 5/11/2020 2:01:19 PM

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