The mission of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit is to eliminate the burden of Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases through strategies focused on early prediction, detection, prevention, and intervention.

Our Labs

The Genetics and Aging Research Unit at Massachusetts General Hospital is comprised of nine laboratories, each committed to advancing our understanding of Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases. The faculties of the Genetics and Aging Research Unit are dedicated to providing a vibrant and supportive training environment for students and fellows, promoting a spirit of exploration and innovation.

Rudolph TanziTanzi Lab

Since its inception in 1990, the Tanzi lab has carried out pioneering studies leading to the identification and characterization of numerous Alzheimer’s disease (AD) susceptibility genes, including the first three AD genes responsible for early-onset familial AD, APP, PSEN1, and PSEN2, as well as the first innate immune microglial Alzheimer’s gene, CD33, and the Wilson’s disease gene. The Tanzi lab was also first to show that copper and zinc drive beta-amyloid formation, and with Dr. Robert Moir, revealed the normal function of the amyloid beta protein as an antimicrobial (host defense) peptide in the brain. Working with Dr. Doo Yeon Kim, the Tanzi lab developed the first 3D human stem cell-derived neural cell culture model (Alzheimer’s-in-a-Dish™) to fully recapitulate the pathogenic pathway of Alzheimer’s disease, from beta-amyloid deposition to induction of neurofibrillary tangles to neuroinflammation. The Tanzi lab has used this model for novel AD drug discovery, including the development of the first gamma-secretase modulators aimed at safely reducing amyloid beta protein production with AD clinical trials planned for the near future.

Tanzi Lab

Doo Yeon KimKim Lab

The Kim Laboratory utilizes 3D human neural cell culture and brain organoid models to explore the molecular mechanisms and pathological pathways of Alzheimer's disease, focusing on the role of Aβ42 accumulation in tau pathology, neuroinflammation, and neurodegeneration.

Kim Lab

Martin ZhangZhang Lab

The Zhang Laboratory explores Alzheimer's pathogenesis and treatments through diverse mechanisms, including small molecule modulators of γ-secretase, inhibitors of epigenetic proteins, and has co-discovered clinically promising biomarkers using PET imaging and ML-integrated Raman spectrometry.

Zhang Lab

Jaehong SuhSuh Lab

The Suh Laboratory investigates the genetic and molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and spinocerebellar ataxia (SCA) to identify new therapeutic targets and develop effective drugs, focusing on the roles of ADAM10 in AD and BACE1 in SCA1. The Lab also studies the genetics behind highly superior autobiographical memory.

Suh Lab

Se Hoon ChoiChoi Lab

The Choi Laboratory studies brain resilience to Alzheimer's disease (AD) by targeting adult hippocampal neurogenesis and BDNF, anti-amyloid effects of physical exercise, and AD pathogenesis using 3D in vitro neurovascular human brain models with meningeal lymphatics in order to identify neuroprotective compounds.

Choi Lab

Ana GriciucGriciuc Lab

The Griciuc Laboratory investigates the role and mutations of Alzheimer's-associated genes CD33 and TREM2 in disease pathogenesis, using advanced genetic models and techniques such as CRISPR/Cas9 and scRNA-seq.The Lab also encompasses preclinical drug discovery and gene therapy targeting neuroinflammation and microglia.

Griciuc Lab

Raja BhattacharyyaBhattacharyya Lab

The Bhattacharyya Laboratory focuses on the S1R-MAM axis modulating Alzheimer's neuropathogenesis through MAM gap width and neuronal Aβ levels, aiming to develop targeted therapeutics and investigate the BIN1-RIN3 interaction affecting AD risk through endocytosis.

Bhattacharyya Lab

Prokopenko Lab

The Prokopenko Laboratory applies statistical and computational methodologies to dissect Alzheimer’s disease (AD) genetics, integrating multi-omics data to reveal biological pathways and the interplay between genetics and environmental factors in AD progression.

Prokopenko Lab

Mehdi JorfiJorfi Lab

The Jorfi Laboratory develops multicellular engineered systems as human surrogates to understand the intricate neural-immune crosstalk in neurological conditions, primarily Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis. The Lab employs a multidisciplinary approach, merging biology and engineering to map out fundamental neuroimmune mechanisms and inspire new immunotherapies.

Jorfi Lab

Emeritus and Former Principal Investigators

Wilma Wasco, PhD
Dora Kovacs, PhD
Jenny Linnoila, MD, PhD
Robert Moir, PhD (Deceased)
Airong Li, PhD (Deceased)