Human Molecular Genetics & Biochemistry
Our research is focused on the molecular mechanisms regulating the protein kinase GSK-3 and their implications in human disease. GSK-3 is a central player in diabetes, neurodegenerative and psychiatric disorders, and recently emerged as a promising drug discovery target.
We propose that inhibition of GSK-3 should produce therapeutic benefits in treating these disorders. We develop selective substrate competitive GSK-3 inhibitors and evaluate their efficacy and therapeutic effects in relevant in vitro and in vivo systems. So far we could show that our leading compound inhibitors had therapeutic efficacy in CNS disorders models for Alzheimer’s disease, mood disorders, and multiple sclerosis.
In recent work we identified the lysosome as a GSK-3 target. This implicated GSK-3 as a key player in protein degradation pathways, particularly autophagy ad endocytosis. Research methods combine cell biology, molecular biology and biochemistry disciplines together with bioinformatics and computational biology.