The Lindberg Laboratory
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology
University of Maryland School of Medicine

All multicellular organisms use signaling molecules to convey information between cells. Neurons and endocrine tissues- such as the brain, pituitary, pancreas and adrenal gland- make especially important signaling molecules: peptidergic neurotransmitters and peptide hormones.

Our Research

Our research questions center on the regulated secretory pathway in which signaling molecules are made. We are especially interested in the synthesis of  signaling molecules by the proprotein convertases, as well as the chaperone mechanisms used to maintain both this pathway and the synaptic environment free of misfolded protein aggregates. We would like to better understand the physiological mechanisms used by secretory tissues (neurons and endocrine cells) to control aberrant protein assembly and aggregation in the later stages of the secretory pathway -as well as in the extracellular milieu.

What diseases do we study?

Our work on secretory chaperones is of potential interest to patients suffering from Alzheimer’s as well as the many other neurodegenerative diseases involving protein aggregation. Our studies on the important prohormone convertase PC1/3, which controls the initial biosynthetic step of neuropeptide/ peptide hormone production, are designed to mechanistically characterize human variants which are known to be strongly associated with the risks of obesity and diabetes.

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