December 5, 2019 1:00 am / 2:00 am

43-105 CHS, Center for Health Sciences UCLA

About the lecture: 

Epidemiological studies indicate that exposure to environmental toxins, such as the dithiocarbamate fungicide ziram, increases the risk of idiopathic Parkinson’s disease (PD). The increase in risk is similar to or greater than that conferred by genetic risk factors. Together, the Krantz and Schweizer labs have used Drosophila as an unbiased discovery tool to uncover molecular pathways by which ziram may underlie early and predisposing aspects of PD. We suggest that there may be at least two relevant pathways- one that changes neurotransmitter release and a second that increases neuronal excitability. The latter involves an evolutionarily conserved family of potassium channels and may represent a novel pathway relevant to the pathophysiology of PD.

About the speaker: 

David Krantz is a Professor in Residence in the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. He graduated Brown University in 1983, then combined research and clinical training as an MD/PhD student at UCLA. After further clinical training as a psychiatry resident at UCLA, he moved to UCSF to study the regulation neurotransmitter transporters as a post-doctoral fellow. He joined the UCLA faculty in 2000, where his laboratory uses the model genetic organism Drosophila to study how neurotransmitter transporters influence synaptic transmission and  the mechanisms by which pesticides may increase the risk of PD.

Supported by the UCLA NIEHS Training Grant in Molecular Toxicology T32ES015457. For more information, please contact Dr. Oliver Hankinson at OHank@mednet.ucla.edu.