2016 Hellman Fellow
Assistant Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry
UC Santa Cruz
Project Title: Cell Culture Studies of a Novel Chiral Variant of Alzheimer’s Amyloid Beta 1-42 Peptide
The Raskatov lab is a highly interdisciplinary research team at UCSC with specific focus on molecular mechanisms of aging. Amyloid β, which is the culprit of Alzheimer’s Disease, is of particular interest. Raskatov’s is also interested in age-related changes in steroid hormone levels, and how these contribute to neurodegeneration.
The team applies a wide array of techniques to illuminate these questions from diverse points of view. The Raskatov Lab employs methods, including classical organic chemistry transformations, (asymmetric) transition-metal catalyzed chemistry, and microwave-assisted polypeptide synthesis. We systematically probe the molecular frameworks created, employing biophysical methods. Molecules that show interesting properties in cell-free systems are studied in the biologically relevant setting. We focus our cell culture studies mostly on brain cells. Neuroinflammation constitutes a major contribution to neurodegenerative disorders, and the crosstalk with the immune system, including Nuclear Factor Kappa B signaling, hence, also of high interest. The lab also collaborates with electrophysiologists to elucidate molecular mechanisms of action of the compounds to synthesize, in advanced, disease-relevant brain tissue models.
The team is very international, and currently consists of two postdocs, two PhD students and, typically, 1-2 undergraduate volunteers.