Research

During the last years, the exponential grow of Neuroepigenetics demonstrated the involvement of DNA methylation and histone modifications on the pathology of a variety of neurological diseases and, importantly, proved their relevance in post-mitotic cells in the human brain. The work of our lab reporting mislocalization of DNA methyltransferase 1 in the brains of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients was among a few pioneer studies focused on epigenetic mechanisms disrupted in neurodegeneration (Desplats et al 2008 JBC).

Research in our lab is aimed at elucidating the dynamic mechanisms of DNA methylation, which might contribute to onset and progression of the most prevalent neurodegenerative diseases of the elderly, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. At the center of our work is a strong interest in translational neuroscience, therefore we combine aspects of cellular physiology and molecular neuroscience, integrating the analysis of human postmortem brain samples, transgenic animals and cellular models to address mechanistic questions, while identifying therapeutic targets and providing novel diagnostic tools.

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

Come join us at the forefront of discovery and share the excitement of learning neuroepigenetics and understanding neuronal molecular mechanisms!!

The Desplats’ Lab is looking for candidates for the UCSD Master in Sciences program and to perform research projects for BISP196 Honors Thesis. Previous experience in a research laboratory is required, with proficiency in biochemistry and molecular biology techniques. Experience with tissue culture is a plus. Must have GPA above 3.0 and completed general biology courses.

We are also seeking undergrad students interested in completing short research projects for academic credits, through NEU199, BISP199 or similar programs (https://biology.ucsd.edu/education/undergrad/research/research-acad-cred/). Minimal experience at the bench required, good GPA scores and at least 15 h/week to dedicate to the lab. Priority will be given to students willing to commit for 2 quarters as part of the FMP program (https://students.ucsd.edu/sponsor/fmp/).