Patient-Based Structural and Functional Biology of Tauopathies


Using a technique called cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), this research will focus on understanding the clumps of misfolded tau protein that are associated with a diversity of neurodegenerative diseases, most notably Alzheimer’s and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. Cryo-EM is a revolutionary imaging technique that fires beams of electrons at protein molecules that have been frozen in solution to deduce the protein’s structure. By reconstructing the structure of tau tangles in disease, this research hopes to gain new insights into how tangles form and drive disease progression. These findings will enable researchers to design drug molecules aimed at preventing tangle buildup and identifying biomarkers that detect the disease before symptoms arise.

Funding to Date



Studies of Tau, Translational


Anthony Fitzpatrick, Ph.D.

Leonard Petrucelli, Ph.D.