Taub Institute: Genomics Core
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Featured Research

Scott Small, MD

Scott Small, MD

My lab focuses on disorders that affect the hippocampal circuit and our work is organized around the principle of 'regional vulnerability'. We hypothesize that different regions of the hippocampal circuit will be vulnerable to different disorders, and that pinpointing these vulnerable regions can therefore provide pathogenic insight. Accordingly, we have optimized and applied high-resolution variants of fMRI to patients and animal models, establishing patterns of regional vulnerability within the hippocampal circuit linked to Alzheimer's disease, normal cognitive aging, and schizophrenia. In subsequent imaging-guided molecular investigations, our studies have implicated retromer trafficking pathways in Alzheimer's disease, CREB-dependent histone acetylation in normal aging, and glutamate catabolism in schizophrenia. Most recently, we have relied on this pathogenic insight to begin drug discovery projects for each hippocampal-based disorder.

To accommodate these imaging-to-molecular studies, the lab as a whole is divided into a neuroimaging lab, housing analytic tools and a mouse MRI scanner, and a 'wet' lab where we perform our cellular/molecular studies.

Members of the Small Laboratory include, back row from left: Nicolina Bruno, Usman Khan, Elias Pavlopolous, Milan Kothiya, Randy Astaiza, Vivek Patel, Frank Provenzano, Hannah Sigmon and Jia Guo. Front row, seated: Sabrina Simoes, Andrea Urban, Diego Berman, Shazia Dharssi.

Neuroimaging lab

Usman Khan is an MD/PhD graduate student who is developing novel fMRI analytic techniques applied to Alzheimer's disease and aging in patients and mouse models.

Frank Provenzano is a Biomedical Engineering graduate student who is developing novel fMRI analytic techniques, with a particular focus on schizophrenia and diagnostic utilities.

Jia Guo is a Biomedical Engineering graduate student who is developing novel magnetic resonance spectroscopy techniques for Alzheimer's disease, cognitive aging, and schizophrenia.

Hannah Sigmon, Nicolina Bruno, and Shazia Dharrsi are research assistants in the neuroimaging lab.

Wet lab

Diego Berman is an associate professor who is in charge of the lab, in terms of overseeing our Alzheimer's disease drug discovery program and other studies designed to clarify regional vulnerability in disease.

Sabrina Simoes is a postdoctoral fellow who is using a range of techniques and mouse models to further clarify the role the retromer has in normal and pathological brain function.

Elias Palvapoulos is a postdoctoral fellow who is continuing to investigate factors that modify or mediate CREB-dependent histone acetylation in normal aging.

Vivek Patel, Randy Astaiza ad Milan Kothiya are research assistants in the 'wet' lab.

All of the projects in my lab are supported administratively by the work of Andrea Urban.

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