Our mission is to understand the neurobiology of age-related conditions affecting cognition, including Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, and cognitive aging, and to contribute to developing new treatments for these conditions.
Alzheimer's disease (AD) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD) are major causes of dementia. Neither has highly effective treatments available. Cognitive aging is a frequent and unwelcome accompaniment of the aging process. The microtubule-associated protein tau is a focus in the Roberson lab, as it accumulates with aging and plays important roles in both diseases. We also study progranulin, a common genetic cause of FTD. We are particularly interested in the how these molecules affect vulnerable brain networks — the default mode network in AD and the salience network in FTD — to cause neuronal dysfunction. We use mouse models and other approaches to address these questions.