Marcelo Vargas

Email: mvargas@wisc.edu

DEPARTMENT: 

Neurology

EDUCATION:

Universidad de La República, Uruguay

RESEARCH DESCRIPTION:

The long-term goal of my research program is to develop new therapeutic strategies using mechanistic insights drawn from understanding astrocyte-motor neuron interaction in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). While the degeneration of motor neurons is the characteristic feature of ALS, astrocytes play a key role determining motor neuron fate in the course of the disease. Astrocytes from diverse ALS models induce motor neuron death in co-culture models and several strategies aimed at reverting astrocyte-mediated toxicity increase motor neuron survival and improve motor performance in ALS mouse models. Our goal is to better understand astrocyte biology and define the therapeutic value of modulating mitochondrial function, antioxidant defenses and astrocyte-neuron metabolic coupling in the context of ALS.

KEY WORDS:

ALS, astrocytes, motor neurons, mitochondria, inflammation

Link to Publications