The long term goals of Dr. Matthew's primary research efforts are to determine the causes of neurodegenerative diseases of aging, such Alzheimerís, Parkinsonís and Lou Gehrigís diseases, and of aging-related neurodegeneration. His current approach to this research is examining the molecular genetics of aging-enhanced and stress-enhanced sensitivity to neurotoxicants. The experimental methodologies he is employing include physiological, behavioral, and histopathological measures of neurotoxicity in inbred mouse strains and the use of micro satellite DNA markers for trait linkage analysis and genetic mapping. This work is intended to lead to identification of the genes and gene products responsible for conferring enhanced age-related, and/or stress-related sensitivity to neurotoxicants. This, in turn, should increase our understanding of the mechanisms of neurodegeneration. He also has related peripheral research interests in receptor pharmacology, enzymology, membrane biophysics, and environmental toxicology.
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