Hiroko  Yano, PhD

Hiroko Yano, PhD

Associate Professor, WashU Neurosurgery

Molecular pathogenesis of neurodegenerative diseases; Epigenetic regulation of gene expression in Huntington’s disease

The age-dependent dysfunction and progressive loss of selective neurons are key characteristics of neurodegenerative diseases including Huntington’s disease (HD).  Despite intensive efforts to identify the molecular mechanisms of neuronal death in HD, no curative treatments are currently available.  Transcriptional dysregulation in the brain hasbeen suggested to be a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases.  In addition, emerging evidence has highlighted the important role of epigenetic mechanisms in the control of transcription.  My laboratory focuses on identifying novel epigenetic pathways that cause changes in histone modifications and aberrant gene expression in HD, using cell and animal models of the disease.  Improved molecular understanding of these pathways will aid in the development of new epigenetic-targeted therapies to prevent neurodegenerative disease progression.

More about the Yano lab