Understanding Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 – A Devastating Progressive, Degenerative Disease

Dr. Opal is studying a genetic disease called Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 1 that affects the cerebellar region of the brain. This is a relentless and uniformly fatal disease with no current cure. Our hypothesis is that the vascular growth factor VEGF is decreased in SCA1 cerebella and that some aspects of the disease could be reversed by replenishing VEGF. Interest in VEGF from other branches of medicine increases the likelihood that our promising studies could rapidly bring therapies from bench to bedside for SCA1. The BRF grant will be crucial in providing my lab with the funds to obtain preliminary data to compete for NIH R01 level funding.

Other Grants

Sarah C. Goetz, Ph.D., Duke University
Uncovering a Novel Role for Primary Cilia in Eph/Ephrin Signaling in Neurons
2022 Seed GrantSarah C. Goetz, Ph.D. Duke University Women’s Council Seed Grant Primary cilia are tiny projections from cells that function like an antenna- they receive and may also send…
Erin M. Gibson, Ph.D., Stanford University
Circadian Regulation of Oligodendroglial Senescence and Metabolomics in Aging
2022 Seed GrantErin M. Gibson, Ph.D.Stanford University The brain consists of two main classes of cells, neurons and glia. Glia make-up more than half of the cells in the brain…
Yvette Fisher, Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley
Dynamic Modulation of Synaptic Plasticity During Spatial Exploration
2022 Seed GrantYvette Fisher, Ph.D.University of California, Berkeley The Virginia (Ginny) & Roger Carlson Seed Grant Cognitive flexibility is critical for appropriately adjusting thoughts and behaviors to meet changing demands…
Byoung Il Bae, Ph.D., University of Connecticut
Unique Vulnerability of Developing Human Cerebral Cortex to Loss of Centrosomal Protein
2022 Seed GrantByoung Il Bae, Ph.D.University of Connecticut Carl & Marilynn Thoma Foundation Seed Grant The cerebral cortex is the largest and outermost part of the human brain. It is…