Message from the Director
Welcome to the Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases. The Center is housed within the Department of Neurology at UTMB and was established in 2007 thanks to a generous gift from George and Cynthia Mitchell. The core mission of the Center is to promote human health through innovative basic and translational research aimed at promoting the advancement of our understanding of the molecular, cellular, and system mechanisms driving neurodegenerative disorders with the long-term goal of developing innovative, effective therapies. Research of the primary faculty of the Mitchell Center covers a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders, with the relative majority of effort focusing on Alzheimer’s Disease and related tauopathies (such as PSP, FTLD, and PART), but also including Parkinson’s Disease and related synucleopathies (such as DLB), Huntington Disease, ALS, autism and epilepsy. The major research focus is on molecular and cellular mechanisms that can be common drivers of these diverse disorders such as protein misfolding, synaptic dysfunction, deficits in synaptic development, altered neurogenesis, neurovascular unit impairments and sex dependency, excitatory/inhibitory imbalance, oxidative stress, DNA damage and repair, insulin resistance, and cognitive resilience. Several innovative therapeutic approaches are also developed and evaluated at the Mitchell Center, including immunotherapy for tau oligomers and other amyloid oligomers, near-infrared light (NIR), calcineurin inhibitors, PLD1 inhibitors, and insulin sensitizers, among others. Testimony of the success of the research at the Mitchell Center is the extensive extramural research support awarded to Center core faculty that currently exceeds $31 million in active grants (including NIH and national foundation grants) with over 78 papers published in peer-reviewed journals. The extraordinary academic environment and research innovation at the Mitchell Center attract trainees from all over the world. Core center faculty are devoted mentors, having trained countless graduate students and postdoctoral fellows that have often moved on to successful independent careers in academia as well as the biotechnology and pharmaceutical fields. At the Mitchell Center, we are all committed to excellency in research and training, and continuing to promote the latest advancements in our knowledge of neurodegenerative diseases with the ultimate goal of developing effective therapies for these devastating disorders.
Giulio Taglialatela, PhD
The Lawrence J. Del Papa Distinguished Chair in Neurodegenerative Disease Research
Professor and Vice Chair for Research
Director, Brain Health Institute
Director, Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases
Department of Neurology