Morimoto, Richard, PhD

Information

Name

Morimoto, Richard, PhD

Title

Bill and Gayle Cook Professor of Biology

Email

r-morimoto@northwestern.edu

Office Phone

847-491-3340

Office Fax

847-491-4461

Department

Molecular Biosciences; Director, Rice Institute for Biomedical Research

Office

Hogan 2-100 Evanston

Website

http://www.biochem.northwestern.edu/ibis/morimoto/index.html

Areas of Research

Cell Biology, Molecular Neuroscience, Neurobiology of Disease

NU Scholar Profile

http://www.scholars.northwestern.edu/expert.asp?u_id=1666

Recent Publications on PubMed

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=Morimoto%2C%20Richard%5BFull%20Author%20Name%5D&cmd=DetailsSearch

Current Research

Current Research

<strong>Molecular Basis of Neurodegenerative Disease: Protein Misfolding and Molecular Chaperone Therapeutics</strong>

The research in the Morimoto laboratory addresses the molecular basis for neurodegenerative diseases resulting from protein misfolding. These include Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, and Creutzfeld-Jacob’s disease. The expression of these misfolded and mutant proteins results in the appearance of toxic oligomers, aggregates, and inclusion bodies that are hallmarks of these neurodegenerative disorders. We are interested in:

the capacity and specificity of the protein quality control machinery to recognize misfolded proteins and the triage mechanism that determines whether the damaged protein is refolded or cleared. Using C. elegans as a model system, we have established transgenic animals expressing polyglutamine proteins, mutant SOD1, tau, and prions and have identified a molecular link between the insulin signaling pathway, accumulation of damaged proteins, and regulation of the heat shock response and chaperones.
the role of genes that control lifespan and protein homeostasis
identification of modifiers of aggregation-toxicity using forward genetic screens and genome-wide RNAi screens
the basis of neuronal cell-type specificity and neurotoxicity
the development of small molecules that target the molecular chaperone machinery as a new class of therapeutics for neurodegenerative diseases of aging.