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Research at Mass General
Lab Phone: 617-764-9611
MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease (MIND)
Neurology Access Center: 1-855-644-6387
The Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory at the MassGeneral Institute for Neurodegenerative Disease, under the direction of Michael Schwarzschild, MD PhD, investigates molecular mechanisms in mouse models of Parkinson’s disease in an effort to develop improved therapies for Parkinson’s and related neurodegenerative diseases. We focus on a natural class of compounds known as purines, in particular the role of three purines — adenosine, caffeine and urate — and how targeting them may prevent or slow the brain cell degeneration of Parkinson’s.
The lab is pursuing major epidemiological and clinical clues to the disease through fruitful inter-disciplinary collaborations with the research group of Professor Alberto Ascherio at the Harvard School of Public Health and with the Parkinson Study Group of North America. Caffeine and urate are linked to a lower risk of Parkinson’s and/or to a slower rate of disease progression in humans.
The lab explores how caffeine (and other blockers of the adenosine A2A receptor) and urate may be protecting brain cells in Parkinson’s. We employ complementary pharmacological and genetic (e.g., gene knockout) tools to dissect the role of adenosine and urate pathways in the brains of parkinsonian mice. We are also studying the role of adenosine receptors in the disabling motor complications (abnormal involuntary movements known as dyiskinesia) that are sometimes triggered by standard anti-parkinsonian therapy.
Through our well-established translational research network and track record, we expedite transfer of our molecular insights from the laboratory back to the clinic in order to maximize their impact on the lives of Parkinson’s disease patients.
Michael A. Schwarzschild, MD, PhDDirector, Molecular Neurobiology LaboratoryProfessor of Neurology,Harvard Medical SchoolAssociate in Neurology,Massachusetts General Hospital
Research Assistants & Technicians
Lab Group Photos 2011
2010 Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory (MNL) BBQ
Lab Group Photos 2010
2010 Joint Group Retreat with Ascherio neuroepidemiology group
Using models of neurodegeneration, this part of the project seeks to understand how adenosine A2A receptor antagonists, including caffeine, protect neurons in models of Parkinson’s disease.
Proposed mechanism of symptomatic anti-parkinsonian action of adenosine A2A antagonists
Schwarzschild, Fuxe, Agnati, Chen & Morelli (2006) TRENDS in Neurosciences
Using models of dyskinesia this part of the project looks at how adenosine A2A receptor antagonists may prevent development of dyskinesias.
Taking advantage of the discrete localization of CNS A2A receptors
Schwarzschild, Fuxe, Agnati, Chen & Morelli (2006) TRENDS in Neurosciences (Adapted)
This project explores how genetic and pharmacological manipulation of the urate pathway may reduce neurodegeneration in models of Parkinson’s disease.
Search for current opportunities on the Mass General careers website at http://www.massgeneral.org/careers/default.aspx or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org for a list of current openings.
NCBI PubMed Publications
Molecular Neurobiology Laboratory: Michael A. Schwarzschild, MD, PhD
Building 114, Charlestown Navy Yard
Michael A. Schwarzschild, MD, PhDE-mail: email@example.com
Lab Phone: 617-726-5714
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