WELCOME TO THE ZHANG RESEARCH LABORATORY
News: 2007 Alzheimer Award to Jing Zhang, M.D., Ph.D.
Our Reserch in NEWS:
(1) Progress towards a molecular biomarker for Parkinson disease
(2) Zhang Receives New NIH Funding Launches Parkinson's Biomarker Program
Parkinsonís disease (PD), the most common serious movement disorder afflicting millions of Americans, is diagnosed when patients present with cardinal parkinsonian signs (bradykinesia, rigidity, tremor, and postural instability as depicted in the diagram on the left) and show a favorable responsiveness to levodopa or dopamine (DA) agonists.
Pathological hallmarks of PD are loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra (SN) with resultant depletion of DA and the presence of Lewy bodies in the remaining neurons (indicated by an arrow in the photo micrograph). Despite decades of extensive research, there is currently still no cure for the disease, largely because its pathogenesis has not been fully understood yet. In addition, there are quite a few other movement disorders that mimic PD clinically including response to levodopa and DA agonists, making an accurate diagnosis of PD difficult sometimes even in the best hands. Finally, the natural course of PD varies substantially, with most patients developing first mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and then dementia as the disease progresses.
Our research focuses on:
1) understand the molecular mechanisms of Parkinsonís disease development
2) understand the molecular mechanisms of Parkinson's disease progression
3) explore unique biomarkers for diagnosing Parkinsonís disease and monitoring its progression
The Zhang Research Laboratory is located in the University of Washington Harborview Medical Center Research and Training Building (R&T Building) in Seattle, Washington, USA.