We are fascinated by synapses, the physical connection and communication points between neurons. Stimuli such as events triggering memory and learning, stress, and exposure to chemicals such as drugs of abuse, anti-depressants and anti-psychotics, all seem to affect synapses and the connections they form. Many neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders are increasingly being referred to as "synaptopathies," emphasizing the role of disrupted synaptic structure and function in these disorders. We hope to not only gain fundamental insight into how neurons communicate with each other and enable the brain to function, but also to discover new potential drug targets for synaptopathies.
- Neurological disorders
- Protein structure and function
Gabby Rudenko is a structural biologist, biophysicist and biochemist who focuses on solving protein structures—in particular, very challenging and large multi-domain proteins—involved in human disease. Solving the three-dimensional structure of complex bio-molecules plays a key role in understanding associated disease processes and can aid in the design of therapeutic strategies.
Wang, Y., Cesena, T., Ohnishi, Y., Burger-Caplan, R., Lam, V., Kirchhoff, P., Larsen, S., Larsen, M., Nestler, E., Rudenko, G. (2012). Small molecule screening identifies regulators of the transcription factor DeltaFosB. ACS Chemical Neuroscience 3(7):546-56.
Chen, F., Venugopal, V., Murray, B, Rudenko, G. (2011). The structure of neurexin 1alpha reveals features promoting a role as synaptic organizer. Structure 19(6):779-89.
Ren, G., Rudenko, G., Ludtke, S.J., Deisenhofer, J., Chiu, W., Pownall, H.J. (2010). Model of Human Low Density Lipoprotein and Bound Receptor Based on Cryo-EM. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 107(3):1059-64.