Emily Andre, B.S. Biology, James Madison University
In the Zeitlin lab, we are working to determine the progression of Huntington’s Disease (HD) pathogenesis which results in massive degeneration of the CNS. HD is a dominantly inherited neurodegenerative disorder that is caused by an expanded polyglutamine repeat in the huntingtin (Htt) protein. A majority of CNS degeneration in HD occurs from loss of striatal medium spiny neurons, as well as partial degeneration of the cortex. My main focus is to try and elucidate the function of the Htt protein in its mutated and wild type isoforms. To this end I am in the process of creating three different HD transgenic mouse models with differently spliced isoforms of the neuronally expressed Htt protein.