Tariq Ahmad, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biology
Drosophila model of frontotemporal dementia: A view from fly eyes
Frontotemporal dementia (FTD) is associated with a progressive decline in the cognitive functions due to age-dependent loss of central nervous system neurons. One genetic marker associated with a hereditary form of FTD is a mutation in CHMP2B – a protein involved in the endosomal-lysosomal pathway that delivers receptors for recycling and degradation. However, it remains unclear how the mutant protein leads to neurodegeneration. My lab utilizes fruit fly Drosophila, a well-established model system for studying human neurodegenerative diseases to understand such problems. We use genetic tools to ectopically express human mutant CHMP2B in Drosophila and analyze the effects at behavioral, cellular, and molecular level. I will present our efforts to characterize the effects of FTD-associated human mutant protein in Drosophila.