The Biology of Aging with Professor David Patterson
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RESEARCH INTERESTS The Patterson laboratory works on three interrelated projects. We are interested in the cognitive and behavioral disabilities faced by persons with Down syndrome and in developing ways to ameliorate these disabilities. The most common genetic cause of significant cognitive disability in the human population, Down syndrome is caused by trisomy of chromosome 21, the smallest human chromosome. A mouse model of Down syndrome exists which is trisomic for a mouse chromosome that is highly homologous to a large portion of human chromosome 21. These mice have many cognitive disabilities reminiscent of those seen in persons with Down syndrome, including the development of an Alzheimer's disease-like cognitive loss as they age. We are analyzing these mice for alterations in crucial metabolic pathways involved in energy metabolism. We are also using proteomics approaches to determine which proteins are expressed in altered levels in these mice to gain insight into how Down syndrome leads to cognitive disabilities.