Structural Neurobiology Laboratory
Mohammed A. Junaid, PhD, Head
The major research focus of the Structural Neurobiology Laboratory is to identify the causative factors responsible for children's neurodevelopmental disorders, to understand the molecular mechanisms involved, and to ultimately develop blood-based biomarkers for early identification and prevention. Currently, we are working on the identification of susceptibility factors in autism spectrum disorders.
Our laboratory is focusing on identification of autism susceptibility genes through technologies such as proteomics and microarray. We are using a novel approach wherein gene expression changes are studied in genetically predisposed families. Presently, we are studying whether gene expression changes in response to epigenetic factors during gestational development have any role in neuropsychiatric disorders later in life.
Earlier, our laboratory played a crucial role in the identification of the gene that is defective in late-infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis. Based upon the function of the defective gene that encodes a lysosomal tripeptidyl peptidase I (TPPI) enzyme, we developed a highly specific diagnostic test that is used for early detection and carrier identification.