On this page
Neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson’s Disease (PD), heavily burden our rapidly aging society. For effective therapies, we must understand how certain protein aggregates cause toxicity in the neurons. Recently, we discovered that Processing bodies, cytosolic RNA granules, represent a novel pathway in alpha-synuclein-the major protein that aggregates in PD-mediated toxicity. In our lab, we will investigate the molecular mechanisms of P-body function in PD and healthy neurons, how RNA granules crosstalk with lipid membranes through a-synuclein and how a-synuclein affects other RNA metabolism related pathways.
Our lab will utilize mainly iPSC derived cortical neurons for elucidating P-body (patho)physiology. For large scale high-throughput experiments to elucidate chemogenetic determinants of a-synuclein membrane residents, we will perform CRISPR and flow cytometry based chemical screens in human cell lines with the validation step in human neurons. For discovery of novel RNA related pathways, we will use orfeome wide protein tagging (a perturbation sensor tag) in disease models of human cell lines, followed by verification in human neurons. In addition, our main philosophy will be to learn what is necessary to solve a particular problem.
Erinc Hallacli received an MS in molecular and cellular biology from Heidelberg University (Germany) and a PhD at the European Molecular Biology Labs (EMBL). He was a postdoc at the Whitehead Institute and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and later a postdoc and instructor at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School (Boston, US). He is assistant professor of neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School and will join the Max Perutz Labs in April 2024.