Sarah Hopp, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology
Research focuses on microglia, the immune cells of the central nervous system, and how these cells are involved in Alzheimer’s disease and other age-associated neurodegenerative diseases. Microglia changes during aging, in Alzheimer’s disease, and during chronic neuroinflammation. The main research objective is to understand how these changes contribute to the initiation and progression of neurodegeneration and cognitive deficits. One line of research focuses on microglia interaction with tau pathology. Misfolded tau accumulates and spreads during Alzheimer’s disease and other tauopathies, and recent evidence from the laboratory suggests that microglia contribute to the spread of tau pathology via dysfunctional degradation of tau. The second line of research focuses on how microglia intracellular calcium dysregulation in the context of Alzheimer’s pathology alters normal microglia processes and contributes to their dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. A particular interest is differentiating cell autonomous and non-cell autonomous effects of manipulating microglia in vivo.
Specific Field of Study: Microglia in Alzheimer’s disease
Sub-Field of Study: Neuroimmunology
Associated Diseases: Alzheimer’s disease, aging, neurodegenerative diseases
Techniques Used: Transgenic animal models, animal behavior analyses, cell culture, microscopy, protein biochemistry, flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, pharmacology