CBBM Lecture: "Ubiquitin pathways in neurodegenerative diseases"

by Henry Paulson, M.D., Ph.D.,

Department of Neurology,

University of Michigan


Careful control of protein synthesis, function and turnover is essential for the health of all cells. In neurons these demands take on the additional importance of supporting and regulating the highly dynamic connections between neurons that are necessary for cognitive function, learning, and memory. A major quality control system by which these processes are carried out  is ubiquitin-dependent protein quality control, of which ubiquitin proteasome degradation is the most well-known component. In this talk, I will review the diverse roles of ubiquitin-dependent pathways in the nervous system. I will pay particular attention to the many neurodegenerative diseases in which  ubiquitin, ubiquitin-linked proteins, and ubiquitin-dependent  pathways play a critical role in handling disease-associated proteins and maintaining neuronal health. I will also discuss potential routes to disease therapy that are based on this quality control system.


Henry L. Paulson, M.D., Ph.D., is the Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan (U-M), where he directs the research programs in neurodegenerative diseases. He also directs the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center and co-directs the U-M Protein Folding Diseases Initiative. Dr. Paulson received his medical degree and doctorate from Yale University in 1990. He then completed a neurology residency and neurogenetics/movement disorders fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1997, he joined the Neurology faculty at the University of Iowa, where he remained until he joined U-M faculty in 2007. Dr. Paulson’s research and clinical interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, with a focus on hereditary ataxias, Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias. His laboratory investigates the mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases and seeks preventive therapies for these largely untreatable and often fatal disorders. In addition, his lab investigates the cellular machinery that helps maintain protein quality control in the brain, which is directly related to the process of neurodegeneration. Dr. Paulson has directed numerous courses at the American Academy of Neurology meetings, serves on the scientific advisory boards of various disease-related national organizations, and is past Chairperson of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. Among his awards, Dr. Paulson has been an Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar in Aging and a recipient of the Paul Beeson Physician Faculty Scholar in Aging Award from the American Federation for Aging Research. 

The lecture will take place on April 14, 2015 from 17:15 to 18:15 hours in Seminar Room 3b, Ground Floor, Zentralklinikum.

Host: Prof. Dr. Christine Klein
Department of Neurology
University of Lübeck