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.