The major scientific interest of the Butovsky lab is to understand the biology of resident microglia and peripheral innate immunity in brain homeostasis and neurodegenerative conditions. The ultimate goal is to identify microglia- and monocyte-based immunomodulatory approaches to treat these neurodegenerative diseases such as MS, ALS, and Alzheimer's disease.
Dr. Butovsky and his lab are internationally recognized for investigations that have redefined the understanding of microglia and led to the identification of novel potential therapy targets for ALS as well as new roles of APOE in microglia regulation in neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease. The group specializes in the generation of novel tools and methods to study microglial biology in health and disease including: 1) identification of a unique molecular microglia signature in health and disease; 2) generation of microglia and monocyte specific mAbs; 3) development of a new technique to culture adult mouse and human microglia in vitro; 4) generation of microglia specific-Cre transgenic mice to study the role and function of microglia biology; 5) identification of novel microglial surface molecules in health and neurodegenerative disease for developing PET-based biomarkers; and 6) identification of the new role of APOE/miR-155 signaling in regulation of microglia phenotype and function in neurodegeneration that can serve as drug targets for therapy in ALS and AD. These advances have major implications which will not only further our understanding of normal CNS function, but will open up new avenues for elucidating the relationship between microglia and CNS diseases. Most importantly, an opportunity has been created to explore the ways in which microglia may be imaged and targeted for the treatment of disease.
The lab is actively involved in multiple international and national collaborative efforts including those local to Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard, and the Broad Institute of MIT and with clinical scientists to translate basic observations and validate their application in human disease. The laboratory's grant support sustains studies related to identification of therapeutic targets and biomarkers of central and peripheral innate immunity
Department of Neurology,
Brigham and Women's Hospital
BTM, Office 10002K
60 Fenwood Dr.
Boston, MA 02115