Positions

Overview

  • My lab's overall research goal is to understand and investigate the cellular and immunological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of synucleinopathy disorders. Specifically, my lab research focuses on how the protein alpha-synuclein contributes to microglial activation, peripheral immune cell infiltration, and subsequent activation of the immune response in Parkinson disease (PD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) models. In the lab we work with multiple immune cell types, including myeloid cell subsets and T cells to pursue research regarding these mechanisms. Therapeutic strategies targeting and blocking immune system activation have been neuroprotective, however, differentially targeting immune cell subsets in the central nervous system (CNS), specifically microglia, without undesirable effects on extra-CNS immunity has been a challenge. By combining transgenic animals with an alpha-synuclein viral models of PD and MSA to study the role of immune cells subsets, we aim to dissect mechanisms of immune-mediated disease pathogenesis in synucleinopathy disorders.
  • Selected Publications

    Chapter

    Year Title Altmetric
    2020 Innate and adaptive immune responses in Parkinson's disease.  169-216. 2020

    Research Overview

  • Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience, Immunology, Neurodegeneration, Aging,
  • Investigator On

  • The Progranulin C-Terminal Domain and AAV-Progranulin Gene Therapy for Frontotemporal Dementia  awarded by National Institute on Aging/NIH/DHHS 2020 - 2024
  • Interactions of Gut Microbiome, Genetic Susceptibility and Environmental Factors in Parkinson's Disease  awarded by DOD - Department of Defense 2018 - 2022
  • Border-Associated Macrophages in an Alpha-Synuclein Overabundance Model of Parkinson Disease  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS 2018 - 2021
  • Role of T cells in an Alpha-Synuclein Mediated Mouse Model of Parkinson Disease  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS 2018 - 2021
  • Advancing PINK1 KO Rat Animal Models of PD  awarded by Fox (Michael J.) Foundation for Parkinson's Research 2017 - 2019
  • Mechanisms of LRRK2 Mediated Neurotoxicity  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS 2016 - 2019
  • Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Parkinson Disease  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS 2015 - 2018
  • Innate and Adaptive Immunity in Parkinson Disease - Project 1: PD-Linked Susceptibilities in Myeloid-Cell CNS Infiltration  awarded by National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke/NIH/DHHS 2015 - 2018
  • Validation of the Class II MHC Transactivator (CIITA) in Models of PD  awarded by Fox (Michael J.) Foundation for Parkinson's Research 2014 - 2016
  • Role of MHC II Proteins in Parkinson's Related Inflammation  awarded by RJG FOUNDATION 2011 - 2014
  • Targeting the JAK/STAT Pathway in the Treatment of Parkinson's Disease  awarded by Fox (Michael J.) Foundation for Parkinson's Research 2012 - 2014
  • Education And Training

  • Doctor of Philosophy in Biological and Biomedical Sciences, University of Texas System : Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas 2010
  • Full Name

  • Ashley Harms