Ethan Hass

Student NameEthan Hass
Faculty Mentor NameBenoit Giasson PhD
CollegeCollege of Medicine
MinorBiomolecular Engineering
Research InterestsNeurodegenerative Diseases, Biochemistry, Monoclonal Antibodies
Academic AwardsCLAS Dean’s List
Hobbies and InterestsCooking, Spray Paint Art, Record Collecting

Research Project

Characterization of monoclonal antibodies for the identification of modified alpha-synuclein?

Parkinson’s disease is one of the most common neurodegenerative diseases in the world with devastating consequences and no known disease-modifying therapies. Alpha-synuclein is a neuronal protein that can misfold and form pathological fibrils which propagate in a prion-like process that results in inclusions in neural tissue. These inclusions play an important mechanistic role as an underlying cause of neurodegenerative diseases like dementia with Lewy bodies, multiple systems atrophy, and Parkinson’s disease. It is believed that the process in which alpha-synuclein misfolds into a pathological form is related to post-translational modifications to the native protein. My goal is to test the epitopes of murine monoclonal neo-antibodies for their abilities to identify and characterize alpha-synuclein as it is found in multiple cases of neurodegenerative diseases. By doing so I hope to gain new insights on the pathophysiology of alpha-synuclein and to potentially develop new diagnostic methods and therapeutics for Lewy body neurodegenerative diseases.