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New results show that short-term treatment with low doses of a selective receptor blocker enhances spatial memory in aging animals with chronic amyloid pathology, suggesting that existing drugs might counteract cognitive dysfunction in people with neurodegenerative disease.
Mitochondria produce ATP, but also generate reactive oxygen species implicated in disease-related cell damage. Newly discovered tools will help to precisely target reactive oxygen species without affecting the crucial process of ATP production.
'Star-shaped' glial cells are known to support neuronal health and function. New findings suggest that these cells may also be crucial for information storage and contribute to memory loss in disease. Therapeutically targeting these cells might prevent cognitive dysfunction in diverse disorders.
Dr. Anna Orr earned her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University under the mentorship of Dr. Stephen Traynelis, where she studied the molecular mechanisms regulating microglial motility and neuroinflammation. She completed her postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease and UCSF, where she investigated the roles of astrocytic receptor signaling in cognitive function and Alzheimer’s disease. Dr. Orr has been honored with awards and grants from the Society for Neuroscience, NIA, NINDS, Alzheimer's Association, Leon Levy Foundation, and the Kellen Foundation.
Dr. Adam Orr received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Emory University under the guidance of Dr. Xiao-Jiang Li, where he studied mitochondrial transport in Huntington’s disease. He then trained with Dr. Martin Brand at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging where he explored mitochondrial reactive oxygen species production and discovered small molecules that selectively block this production. He has most recently worked at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease in the labs of Drs. Ken Nakamura and Robert Mahley and in close collaboration with two start-up companies to therapeutically correct mitochondrial dysfunction in Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
Grants and Laboratory Administrator
Elsie Spencer received her Master's degree in Public Administration from Columbia University in 2007 and worked at Columbia University for 18 years prior to joining the Appel Institute of Weill Cornell Medicine. Her responsibilities include grants and laboratory administration and overall administrative matters relating to the Appel Institute.
Avital received her Ph.D. in Human Molecular Genetics and Biochemistry at the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University under the mentorship of Dr. Hagit Eldar-Finkelman. Her thesis work led to the identification of a unique GSK-3 inhibitor, which reduced neuropathology and improved cognitive function in models of neurodegeneration. This work was featured as a “Signaling Breakthrough of the Year” by the journal Science Signaling. As a postdoc with Dr. Vahram Haroutunian at the Icahn School of Medicine, Avital focused on epigenetic RNA modifications (m6A) in the human brain and their association with aging and neurodegeneration. Avital was a recipient of the Sagol Fellowship and travel scholarships from scientific organizations. In the Orr lab, Avital is focusing on astrocytic signaling in health and disease.
Neuroscience Graduate Student
Samantha Meadows received her Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience from Binghamton University. During her undergraduate training, Samantha worked in Dr. Christopher Bishop's laboratory studying the neural mechanisms underlying L-DOPA-induced dyskinesia. Samantha was the recipient of Binghamton University's Summer Scholars and Artists Fellowship and the John L. Fuller Award for Excellence in Neuroscience Research. Samantha is currently interested in understanding how disruptions in astrocytic signaling contribute to the onset and progression of neurodegenerative and psychiatric illnesses.
Research Technician I
Fernando Palaguachi received his Bachelor’s degree in Neuroscience and Psychology from the City University of New York at Queens College. At Queens College, he worked as a Research Assistant in Dr. Joshua C. Brumberg’s neurocircuitry laboratory. Fernando's research focused on neuronal morphology and circuitry in the mouse barrel cortex. Because of his early academic and research achievements, Fernando was awarded the Raphell Sims Lakowitz Undergraduate Research Fellowship and was the first recipient of the Queens College Senior Class Legacy Scholarship. In the Orr lab, Fernando assists with diverse projects using animal models and culture methods to unravel the mechanisms of neurodegeneration and glial signaling.
Research Technician II
Svitlana Tymchuk graduated with honors from the Thomas Hunter Honors Program at Hunter College of the City University of New York, receiving a Bachelor's degree in Neurobiology and Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Psychology. After graduating, Svitlana worked as a research technician in the lab of Dr. Gregory A. Petsko at Weill Cornell, where she assisted with Alzheimer's disease research projects and engineering of novel fluorescent biosensors to study oxidative stress and neuroinflammation. Currently in the Orr lab, Svitlana is involved in various projects focusing on the roles of glial signaling in health and neurodegenerative disease. She has a keen curiosity and great passion for neuroscience research.
Our lab uses a variety of approaches and is seeking candidates with skills in molecular biology (CRISPR, RNAseq, cloning, etc), electrophysiology (preferably in vivo) and behavioral neuroscience. We welcome inquiries from graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in basic and translational neuroscience. Check out the links below to learn more about our research activities and lab culture. Our group is located in a new state-of-the-art research building in the vibrant upper east side of Manhattan and is part of the biomedical complex of Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital. If you are interested in joining our lab, please send your CV and a summary of previous work and current interests to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Wong HS, Monternier PA, Orr AL, Brand MD. Methods in Molecular Biology http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29851006
Orr AG, Lo I, Schumacher H, Ho K, Gill M, Guo W, Kim DH, Knox A, Saito T, Saido TC, Simms J, Toddes C, Wang X, Yu GQ, Mucke L. Neurobiology of Disease *Featured on the journal cover. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29100987
Pathak D, Berthet A, Bendor J, Yu K, Sellnow R, Orr AL, Nguyen M, Edwards R, Manfredsson F, Nakamura K. eNeuro http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28462393
Orr AL, Rutaganira FU, De Roulet D, Huang EJ, Hertz NT, Shokat KM, Nakamura K. Neurochem International http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28434973
Brand MD, Goncalves RLS, Orr AL, Vargas L, Gerencser AA, Jensen MB, Wang YT, Melov S, Turk CN, Matzen JT, Dardov VJ, Petrassi HM, Meeusen SL, Perevoshchikova IV, Jasper H, Brookes PS, Ainscow EK. Cell Metabolism http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27667666
Orr AG, Hsiao EC, Wang MM, Ho K, Kim DH, Wang X, Guo W, Kang J, Yu GQ, Adame A, Devidze N, Dubal DB, Masliah E, Conklin BR, Mucke L. Nature Neuroscience http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25622143
Orr AL, Vargas L, Turk CN, Baaten JE, Matzen JT, Dardov VJ, Attle SJ, Li J,Quackenbush DC, Goncalves RLS, Perevoshchikova IV, Petrassi HM, Meeusen SL, Ainscow EK, Brand MD. Nature Chemical Biology http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26368590
Orr AL, Ashok D, Sarantos MR, Ng R, Shi T, Gerencser AA, Hughes RE, Brand MD. PLoS ONE http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24587137
Hey-Mogensen M, Goncalves RL, Orr AL, Brand MD. Free Radic Biol Med http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24746616
Orr AL, Ashok D, Sarantos MR, Shi T, Hughes RE, Brand MD. Free Rad Biol Med http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23994103
Perevoshchikova IV, Quinlan CL, Orr AL, Gerencser AA, Brand M. Free Rad Biol Med http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23583329
Quinlan CL, Perevoshchikova IV, Orr AL, Hey-Mogensen, M, Brand MD. Redox Biology http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24024165
Pranski EL, Van Sanford CD, Dalal NV, Orr AL, Karmali D, Cooper DS, Gearing M, Lah JJ, Levey AI, Betarbet RS. Neuroscience Letters http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23669642
Brand MD, Orr AL, Perevoshchikova IV, Quinlan CL. British Journal of Dermatology http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23786614
Sanchez PE, Zhu L, Verret L, Vossel KA, Orr AG, Cirrito JR, Devidze N, Ho K, Yu GQ, Palop JJ, Mucke L. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22869752
Orr AL, Quinlan CL, Perevoshchikova IV, Brand MD. Journal of Biological Chemistry http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23124204
Quinlan CL, Orr AL, Perevoshchikova IV, Treberg JT, Brand MD. Journal of Biological Chemistry http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22689576
Pranski EL, Dalal NV, Herskowitz JH, Orr AL, Roesch LA, Fritz JJ, Heilman C, Lah JJ, Levey AI, Betarbet RS. Journal of Neuroinflammation http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22507528
Pranski EL, Van Sanford CD, Dalal NV, Orr AL, Karmali D, Cooper DS, Costa N, Heilman CJ, Gearing M, Lah JJ, Levey AI, Betarbet RS. Neuroscience Letters http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22634524
Quinlan CL, Treberg JT, Perevoshchikova IV, Orr AL, Brand MD. Free Rad Biol Med http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22940066
Cisse M, Halabisky B, Harris J, Devidze N, Dubal DB, Sun B, Orr AG, Lotz G, Kim DH, Hamto P, Ho K, Yu GQ, Mucke L. Nature http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21113149
Birket MJ, Orr AL, Gerencser AA, Madden DT, Vitelli C, Swistowski A, Brand MD, Zeng X. Journal of Cell Science http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21242311
Orr AG, Sharma A, Binder NB, Miller AH, Pearce BD (2010) Journal of Molecular Neuroscience http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19774496
Mullasseril P, Hansen KB, Vance KM, Ogden KK, Yuan H, Kurtkaya NL, Santangelo R, Orr AG, Le P, Vellano KM, Liotta DC, Traynelis SF. Nature Communications http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20981015
Hansen KB, Mullasseril P, Dawit S, Kurtkaya NL, Yuan H, Vance KM, Orr AG, Kvist T, Ogden KK, Le P, Vellano KM, Lewis I, Kurtkaya S, Du Y, Qui M, Murphy TJ, Snyder JP, Bräuner-Osborne H, Traynelis SF. J Pharmacol Exp Ther http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20197375
Li XJ, Orr AL, Li S. Biochim Biophys Acta http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19591925
Orr AG, Orr AL, Li XJ, Gross RE, Traynelis SF. Nature Neuroscience http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19525944
Gyoneva S, Orr AG, Traynelis SF. Parkinsonism Relat Disorders http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20082989
Orr AL, Li SH, Wang CE, Li H, Wang J, Rong J, Xu X, Mastroberardino PG, Greenamyre JT, Li XJ. Journal of Neuroscience http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18337408
Orr AL, Huang S, Roberts MA, Fang ZH, Reed JC, Li SH, Li XJ. Journal of Biological Chemistry http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18400759
Mannaioni G, Orr AG, Hamill CE, Yuan H, Pedone KH, McCoy KL, Berlinguer Palmini R, Junge CE, Lee CJ, Yepes M, Hepler JR, Traynelis SF. Journal of Biological Chemistry http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18474593
Mastroberardino PG, Orr AL, Hu X, Na HM, Greenamyre JT. Free Rad Biol Med http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18620047
Wang CE, Tydlacka S, Orr A, Yang SH, Graham R, Hayden M, Li SH, Chan A, Li XJ. Human Molecular Genetics http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18558632
Wang J, Wang CE, Orr A, Tydlacka S, Li SH, Li XJ. Journal of Cell Biology http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18362179
Nicole O, Goldshmidt A, Hamill CE, Sorensen SD, Sastre A, Lyuboslavsky P, Hepler JR, McKeon RJ, Traynelis SF. Journal of Neuroscience http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15858058
Hamill CE*, Goldshmidt A*, Nicole O, McKeon RJ, Brat DJ, Traynelis SF. Clinical Neurosurgery *Equal contributions. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16626052