Our laboratory studies the cellular and molecular mechanisms of neurodegeneration in central nervous system (CNS) disorders such as:
- amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)
- frontotemporal dementia (FTD)
We are particularly interested in elucidating the role of synaptic dysfunction in these diseases. We utilize different models to study synaptic biology including patient-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), patient autopsy brain tissue, and animal models of disease. We employ state-of-the-art molecular, biochemical, and microscopy technologies.
The research interest of our laboratory lies in the elucidation of disease pathways in neurodegenerative disorders including, but not exclusively, ALS and FTD. Specifically, we focus on the role of the synaptic structures and synaptic proteins during disease progression, with an emphasis on the regulation and dysregulation of the synaptic glutamate homeostasis.
With the development of innovative techniques for acquiring adult patient-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs), we have adopted and validated this extremely valuable human cell culture platform to better understand the human molecular and cellular aspects of disease pathways. Human culture model systems will allow us to overcome known interspecies differences, which are especially critical at the level of transcriptional regulation and RNA processing and for the translation of our basic science discoveries into the clinic.
Using a combination of advanced molecular, cellular, and imaging technologies, together with hiPSCs, patient autopsy brain tissue, and novel animal models, we aim to discover novel pathways that harbor potential specific drug targets for future therapeutic development.
Ongoing research in our laboratory is focused on the discoveries of the molecular mechanisms of the newly identified gene mutation in C9orf72. This mutation is characterized by an expanded GGGGCC hexanucleotide repeat in the noncoding region of the C9orf72 gene on chromosome 9p21 and represents the most common genetic abnormality in FTD (10-30%) and ALS (20-50%). Specifically, we are interested in the contribution of synaptic dysfunction to C9orf72-mediated cognitive impairments observed in C9 patients.
Over the last few years, extensive research from our laboratory and others on the role of the (G4C2)n repeat expansion in C9orf72 has led to the proposal of different disease-causing mechanism for mutant C9:
- protein loss-of-function,
- toxic RNA gain-of-function
- toxicity caused by repeat-associated non-ATG initiated (RAN) translation, which leads to the formation of dipeptide repeat proteins (DRPs)
In addition, a recent hypothesis from our laboratory as well as others suggests that mutant C9orf72 leads to deficits in nuclear-cytoplasmic trafficking of RNAs and/or proteins due to either one of the mechanisms described above or, most likely, a combination of all three. Our laboratory is currently studying different downstream pathways that we hypothesize are altered due to the pathogenic phenotypes described above.
Synaptopathy in C9orf72
We hypothesize that progressive synaptic loss and dysfunction, often described as synaptopathy, is an early event during disease development that has long-lasting effects on cognitive function.
In support of this, we have preliminary evidence of synaptic loss and dendritic remodeling in human cortical neurons differentiated from C9 amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patient-derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs). We are investigating whether these brain-region specific synaptic dysfunctions found in C9 ALS are equally present in neurons from non-C9 ALS patients, C9 frontotemporal dementia (FTD) patients, and non-C9 FTD patients. We are also investigating whether or not they are triggered by similar molecular mechanisms and at similar points in time as these diseases progress. Confocal microscopy of hiPSC-neurons as well as novel C9orf72 mouse models will be used to study morphological and functional synaptic deficits.
A basic understanding of synaptic dysfunction in ALS and FTD will lead to the identification of specific therapeutic targets aimed at stratified patient populations to enable better and more successful clinical trials.
Role of RNA editing in C9orf72
We hypothesize that one molecular mechanism that leads to synaptopathy and hyperexcitability in C9orf72 neurons is aberrant RNA editing of varying synaptic proteins. We have preliminary evidence that a major editing enzyme, ADAR2, is mislocalized in C9orf72 due to the nuclear cytoplasmic trafficking deficits. As a result, we show decreased RNA editing efficiency of ADAR2 targets, including the glutamate receptor subunit GluA2.
Editing of GluA2 determines the Ca2+ permeability of the AMPA receptor, which plays a significant role in synaptic plasticity as well as vulnerability to excitotoxicity. We use live imaging techniques to study cell survival and Ca dynamics in C9orf72 hiPSC neurons. In addition, RNA seq analyses are performed to study editing deficiencies of other ADAR2 targets.
In addition to these major research projects, we have several small pilot projects in collaboration with local investigators from the valley:
- Studies on genetic forms of cerebral palsy using patient-derived hiPSC neurons in collaboration with Dr. Michael Kruer (Phoenix Children Hospital, University of Arizona)
- Investigation of the role of metabolic pathways in TDP-43 ALS with Dr. Daniela Zarnescu (University of Arizona)
- Investigation of the role of an ALS patient-specific mutation in a copper transporter protein (ATP7A) using patient fibroblasts and hiPSC neurons with Dr. Robert Bowser (BNI)
Sattler Laboratory News
- Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have had reduced activities in the lab this month and most of the lab have been working remotely at home, analysing data, writing manuscripts, and submitting grant applications. Our graduate students are leading the efforts to get us back in the lab with Stephen, Lynette, and Ryan all returning to do experiments but trialing out and adhering to new social distancing measures.
- Friday, May 8 was “Drink one for Dane” day at Dutch Bros Coffee. This is an annual fundraising event for the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) in honor of the co-founder, Dane Boersma, who died of ALS in 2009. Dutch Bros donates proceeds from each drink sold on this day. In 2019, the event raised more than $1.3 million for the MDA! To support this cause, several members of the lab took a trip to Dutch Bros to grab a to-go coffee.
- At the beginning of March, several members of the lab attended the Annual Packard Center ALS Meeting in Baltimore. This is a three-day meeting focused on new and exciting research in the ALS field, with many speakers from all over the world. Members of the Sattler lab attend this meeting every. This year, it was Rita, Lauren, Stephen, Lynette, and Ryan who got to go. It was great to hear all about progress being made in the last year in ALS labs across the world. It was also a great opportunity for us to meet with collaborators and discuss our projects.
- Congratulations to Stephen and Ben on the publication of their review!! Their article titled, “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Nucleocytoplasmic Trafficking in Neurodegeneration,” was published on February 21 in the journal Neurochemical Research. It provides a comprehensive overview of the cellular mechanisms that regulate nucleocytoplasmic trafficking and how these mechanisms can fail in neurodegenerative diseases.
- S. Senator for Arizona, Martha McSally, visited Barrow Neurological Institute on February 21. As part of her visit, she was given a tour of our lab facilities and met with Dr Sattler to learn about the ALS research we are doing and how this could impact ALS patients.
- Dr Sattler recently attended the International Stroke Conference where investigators presented the results of a clinical trial for a new treatment of ischaemic stroke, nerinetide. Seeing the results of this trial was particularly special for Dr. Sattler because work she published during her PhD graduate studies at the University of Toronto in the 1990s helped pave the way for clinical trials of this neuroprotective drug. Although Rita’s research now primarily focuses on ALS, she likes to keep up to date with the progress of trials relating to her previous research. The Sattler lab are very proud of Rita and the contribution she has made to the stroke research community.
- Ben officially accepted an offer to join the Neuroscience PhD graduate program at the Mayo Clinic! Congratulations, Ben! You will be missed by all of us, and we look forward to seeing you succeed in your future graduate studies!
- New year, new student! We would like to extend a warm welcome to Ryan Pevey who officially joined the lab in January. Ryan is a graduate student from the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Arizona State University. Ryan’s research will be focused on investigating the role of the RNA-binding protein TDP-43 in RNA splicing and how these functions are dysregulated in ALS, FTD, and Alzheimer’s disease. Welcome to the lab, Ryan!
- Dr. Sattler and Lynette headed to the U.K. at the beginning of December to participate in the Wellcome Trust Molecular Degeneration course. Dr. Sattler co-organizes this annual week-long residential course at the Wellcome Genome Campus near Cambridge (UK). The program provides an overview of the molecular basis of several neurodegenerative disorders—including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and ALS—and highlights experimental techniques used in neurogenetics, bioinformatics, and stem cell research that aid the development of therapeutic interventions to combat neurodegenerative disorders. Lauren and Stephen previously attended this course in 2018, and this year it was Lynette’s turn!
- On Saturday, November 2, many members of the lab, plus their families and pets, teamed up with members of the Fulton ALS Center to take part in the 19th ‘Walk to Defeat ALS’ in Scottsdale. This was a three-mile sponsored walk in support of the ALS Association.
- Sattler Lab Grand Canyon Hike! After months of training by climbing the stairs, on November 12th the Sattler lab hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back up again in a day! This 19-mile challenge took us approximately 12 hours, but we all successfully made it out of the canyon together (with some people in better shape than others!) and have brilliant memories and photographs to prove it. Thank you to Rita for encouraging us to do this challenge and taking care of us while we did it! We can’t wait for next year’s challenge…
- On Friday, November 22, Ileana and Lauren attended the ‘Passport to a Cure’ gala in support of the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA). The MDA is just one of several organizations that supports research into ALS and other related neuromuscular diseases.
- During October, several members of the lab traveled to Chicago for the annual Society for Neuroscience (SfN) conference. This is one of the largest scientific conferences in the world and is a great opportunity to learn about all sorts of fascinating neuroscience research going on in the world! At this year’s conference, Rita chaired a Nanosymposium on the Mechanisms of Motor Neuron Disease. Ileana, Jenny, and Stephen presented posters about their research. We really enjoyed discussing some of our projects and received great feedback from the scientific community.
- As a collaborating investigative team, the Sattler lab received a National Institutes of Health (NIH) supplement award, submitted by Dr. Daniela Zarnescu (UofA) to study the role of TDP-43 in cognitive impairment in FTD.
- During the last weekend in September, nearly all members of the Sattler lab traveled down to University of Arizona in Tucson for the 4th annual Arizona ALS Symposium. This event brought together ALS researchers and clinicians from across Arizona, and provided an opportunity to share ideas, collaborate, and discuss cutting-edge ALS research. As part of the symposium, Lynette, Stephen, and Lauren presented posters showcasing the research they do in the lab. Congratulations to Stephen, whose poster won second prize in the poster competition!
- As a collaborating investigative team, the Sattler lab was awarded an NIH SBIR award, submitted by Aquilus Pharma, who is investigating the neuroprotective mechanisms of matrix metalloproteinase 2/9 inhibitors in models of ALS.
- In August, Rita, Lynette, and Lauren attended one of the Robert Packard ALS Center’s Monthly Meetings in Baltimore. At the meeting, we met with several of our collaborators and Rita presented data from our lab’s work on C9orf72 iPSC-derived microglia.
- Congratulations to Stephen on the publication of his first author paper! Stephen’s paper, “ADAR2 mislocalization and widespread RNA editing aberrations in C9orf72-mediated ALS/FTD,” was published in print in the journal Acta Neuropathologica in July 2019. Well done for all your hard work, Stephen!
- In July, we welcomed post-doctoral fellow Lauren Gittings to the lab. Lauren recently received her PhD from University College London (U.K.) and will be working on a project to uncover underlying transcriptional differences between patients that clinically present with FTD, FTD-ALS, and ALS.
- As a thank you for all the hard work our summer students have done over the summer months, the lab spent an afternoon having fun doing a puzzle room and going out for ice cream! We are very grateful for all the hard work that our students have done throughout the year and over the summer. Thank you for all your hard work Megan, Junny Kim, Nancy Twishime, Shiv Shah and Divya Bhatia!
- At the end of July, Rita, Ileana, and Stephen traveled to Vermont to attend the Gordon Research Conference on ‘Mechanisms of Motor Neuron Degeneration and Therapeutic Intervention. Rita was a co-organizer and chair of this meeting, and Stephen was a co-organizer of the related Gordon Research Seminar for scientific trainees. At the meeting, both Ileana and Stephen gave oral presentations about their research. Stephen presented his recently published work on “ADAR2 Mislocalization and Widespread RNA Editing Aberrations in C9orf72-Mediated ALS/FTD” and Ileana presented data on her project “Human In Vitro Culture Systems of C9orf72-ALS/FTD Patient-Derived iPSC Cortical Neurons and Microglial Cells to Study Mechanisms of Synaptopathy.”
- In June, we welcomed graduate student Lynette Bustos to the lab. Lynette is part of the Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Neuroscience at Arizona State University and will be working on a project using iPSC-derived astrocytes to decipher their role in FTD/ALS. Welcome to the lab, Lynette!
- New publication alert! Ileana, Ben, Alex, and Rita recently contributed to a collaboration with Daniela Zarnescu’s lab at the University of Arizona. This work, titled “Glycolysis upregulation is neuroprotective as a compensatory mechanism in ALS,” has now been published in the journal ELife. Congratulations to all of those involved in this work!
- The Sattler lab received some funding from the Arizona Alzheimer’s Reseearch Consortium (AARC) and the Barrow Neurological Foundation to study the role of the ADAR2 editing protein in Alzheimer’s disease.
- May is ALS Awareness Month so every day throughout May 2019 the Sattler lab have been participating in events to raise awareness for ALS. To make it interesting, we chose to do the selected activity for the duration/amount to match the day of the month. Some of the activities we did included Stephen hiking five miles, Ben taking images of 21 neurons, Rita running for 22 minutes, Lauren baking 24 cupcakes, and Mo kayaking for 26 minutes. We finished off the month by participating in the “In Your Face ALS” challenge, where we took great pleasure in putting pies in each other’s faces! The lab would like to say a big thank you to Mo Roberts for coordinating the efforts of the lab throughout ALS Awareness Month!
- New publication alert! Ileana and Rita recently contributed to a collaboration with Jin Xu’s lab. This work, titled “Reactivation of nonsense-mediated mRNA decay protects against C9orf72 dipeptide-repeat neurotoxicity,” has now been published in the journal Brain. Congratulations to all of those involved in this work!
- Congratulation to our post-doctoral fellow, Ileana Lorenzini, who was awarded a Barrow Neurological Foundation grant to study the role of microglial cells in C9orf72-linked ALS/FTD synaptic dysfunction. Good luck with the project, Ileana!
What a busy year… here are a few highlights of what has been going on:
- Both Layla and Alex have moved on to graduate school this fall. Layla joined the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Thomas Jefferson University, and Alex joined the graduate program in the Department of Pharmacology at University of Pennsylvania.
- Our former high school students, Devika and Nancy, are almost done with their first year in college—Devika at UCLA and Nancy at ASU Barrett Honors College. Time flies!!
- Stephen passed his oral exam and is now officially a PhD candidate. Congratulations!
- Shiv will start his undergraduate training at ASU this fall! Congratulations, Shiv, we are excited to have you stay close by.
- Latavya is also starting her college training but has not yet picked a school. Fingers crossed that her first choice will become available.
- Both Latavya and Shiv participated in the Arizona Regional Brain Bee competition, and finished 1st and 2nd place, respectively. Congratulations! Latavya is now competing in the upcoming USA Regional Brain Bee Championship in Hershey, PA. Good luck, Latavya!
AZ: Basis Chandler Student Wins Regional Brain Bee
New lab members
- Ben Rabichow and Mo Roberts joined the lab as a research technicians in June 2018. It feels like these two have been with us forever – so great to have them on board!
- Latavya Chintada, a high school student from Basis High School Chandler, joined us last winter to work on her senior project with us. Welcome to the lab, Latavya!
- Junny Kim, a high school student from Scottsdale Preparatory Academy, joined the lab in the fall of 2018 and has since been tracing endless golgi stained neurons! So great to have her in the lab!
- Lauren Gittings, from University College London, London, UK, will be joining the lab as a postdoctoral fellow in July. We are very excited about her moving to the desert!
- Stephen’s first manuscript was accepted at Acta Neuropathologica! Congratulations to Stephen and all of our collaborators!
- In September last year, we hosted our Third Annual Arizona ALS Symposium, this time at Northern University in Flagstaff. The symposium was attended by close to 100 participants from all over the state of Arizona and was, once again, a great success.
- The lab had a strong presence with numerous poster presentations at SFN 2018 in San Diego, CA.
- Stephen was picked to present his abstract in form of an oral presentation at the RNA Metabolism meeting in San Diego last November, held right before SFN. A great exposure for him to the experts in the field — and he did a terrific job with his presentation. Congratulations!
- Sattler lectured again at the Wellcome Trust Neurodegeneration Course in Hinxton/Cambridge, UK.
- Some of the members from the lab attended the annual Robert Packard Center for ALS Research Symposium in Baltimore, MD in March! Always a great meeting with lots of new and exciting science!
- In December 2018, Stephen was awarded for the second year a BNI Neurobiology science award! Congratulations!
- In March 2019, the Sattler lab was awarded a Partnering PI DOD research grant on C9orf72 FTD together with our collaborators Drs. Van Keuren-Jensen (TGen) and Zarnescu (UA Tucson).
- In July 2018, the Sattler lab was awarded a grant from the Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Consortium (AARC) with matching funds from the Barrow Neurological foundation on molecular aspects of dementia in sporadic ALS patients.
Other noteworthy news
- In October last year, the lab participated for the fourth year in the AZ ALSA walk with team Fulton ALS Center and raised a record high number in funds towards the Arizona ALSA chapter! Congratulations everybody, and thanks to those who supported us.
- Stephen and Dr. Sattler participated in the Climb to Defeat ALS, which raises funds for the ALS Association. They successfully climbed Mt. Elbert in Colorado, the highest 14er of the Rocky Mountains in North America. Stephen did reach the summit 30 sec before Dr. Sattler, earning the winning two bags of Starbursts!
The lab has been incredibly busy over the last six months. Here are a few highlights of what has been going on:
- Both Layla and Alex are moving on to graduate school this fall. Layla will join the Neuroscience Graduate Program at Thomas Jefferson University, and Alex accepted an offer from the graduate program in the Department of Pharmacology at University of Pennsylvania. We wish them both the best of luck and will certainly miss them!
- Our high school students Devika and Nancy are heading to college! Devika will be joining UCLA, while Nancy will head to ASU Barrett Honors College with a Flinn Foundation Scholarship. Congratulations to both of them!!
New lab members
- In October last year, Divya Bhatia joined the Sattler Lab as an undergraduate student from ASU and has since been an incredibly hard-working member of the lab.
- In November last year, Kevin Ma joined the Sattler Lab as a research technician. Welcome on board, Kevin!
- Ashley Nelson, a MD/PhD student from UofA College of Medicine Phoenix, did a research lab rotation in the Sattler Lab from Jan-April, studying the role of TDP43 in ALS/FTD.
- In September last year, we hosted our Second Annual Arizona ALS Symposium, this time at Biosphere 2. The symposium was attended by close to 60 participants from all over the state of Arizona and was a great success.
- In December, Dr. Sattler in collaboration with Dr. Salvatore Oddo (ASU) hosted the first Neuro Division meeting for the Arizona Wellbeing Commons.
- The Sattler Lab co-authored two papers in collaboration with Dr. Robert Bowser’s laboratory (BNI) and Dr. Wilfried Rossoll’s laboratory (Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, FL):
See also the following link: https://web.alsa.org/site/PageNavigator/blog_010918.html
- Two invited review articles were published, one in the Special Edition of Brain Research and one in a Special Issue of Frontiers in Neuroscience, first-authored by Alex and Layla, respectively. Congratulations!!
- The lab has a strong presence with numerous poster presentations at SFN 2017 in Washington, DC.
- Sattler lectured again at the Wellcome Trust Neurodegeneration Course in Hinxton/Cambridge, UK. This year, Stephen was one of the students attending the course!
- Some of the members from the lab attended the annual Robert Packard Center Research symposium in Baltimore, MD! Always a great meeting with lots of new and exciting science!
- Stephen was awarded a BNI Neurobiology science award
- The Sattler Lab, in collaboration with Dr. Daniela Zarnescu’s lab (UofA Tucson), was awarded a DOD research grant
- The Sattler Lab was awarded a grant from the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research
Other noteworthy news
- In October last year, the lab participated for the third year in the AZ ALSA walk with team “Fulton ALS Center” and raised a record high number in funds towards the Arizona ALSA chapter! Congratulations everybody, and thanks to those who supported us.
- Doug, our ALS patient volunteer, was featured on the Barrow Newsletter and Barrow Facebook page. We are all so proud of Doug and all he does to advocate for ALS research!!
- Stephen and Dr. Sattler are participating in the ‘Climb to defeat ALS’, which raises funds for the ALS Association. The two will climb Mt. Elbert in Colorado, the highest 14er of the Rocky Mountains in North America. Please support team “Barrow Brainiacs” for this incredible adventure by donating money towards their fundraising efforts here.
- A collaborative study under the leadership of Dr. Daniela Zarnescu’s laboratory at University of Arizona was accepted for publication at Cell Press! Congratulations to everybody!
- The Sattler Lab welcomes yet another research volunteer to the lab: Doug Clough – ALS patient, advocate, and ambassador!!! We are extremely excited to give Doug an opportunity to, as he says, ‘own his disease’ by having him work alongside the researchers in the lab. We keep questioning who is more excited about this opportunity, him or us?! Welcome, Doug!
- Abigail and Nancy participated at the Barrow summer intern research symposium. Abigail gave a brilliant slide presentation, and Nancy effortlessly mastered her poster presentation. We are very proud of these two incredibly talented young scientists! Congratulations!
- Welcome to our new high school student intern, Shiv Shah. Shiv is a junior at Mountain Ridge High School.
- Andrew left the Sattler Lab and Arizona to start his PhD program in Neuroscience at Thomas Jefferson University! Congratulations again and good luck to his future studies!
- Stephen presented his thesis project at the Barrow Tuesday seminar series. This was his first big audience presentation, and he excelled easily!
- Some of the Sattler Lab members attended the inaugural Gordon Conference on “ALS and related motor neuron diseases,” co-chaired by Dr. Sattler. Great science discussions in beautiful Vermont.
- The lab welcomes our summer student Abigail Byford from the University of Leeds, UK, and Michael Goldstein, an undergraduate student from ASU.
- With 19:26 minutes left, the lab escaped successfully from the Pearled Pachyderm at the Phoenix Puzzle Room. One of the fastest groups to make it out of the room! Great team effort!!
- Ileana was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship award by the Barrow Neurological Foundation to study mechanisms of synaptic dysfunction in ALS and related disorders. Congratulations, Ileana!
- Nancy made headlines in the news when she was included in an article about women in STEM.
- Stephen won the ASU Graduate and Professional Student Association (GPSA) Individual Travel Grant to present a poster at this year’s Gordon Conference on ALS. Congratulations, Stephen!
- In collaboration with the Mufson Laboratory, the Sattler Laboratory was awarded a research grant from the Barrow Neurological Foundation/Arizona Alzheimer’s Research Consortium (AARC) to study mechanisms of Down syndrome neurodegeneration in patient-derived iNeurons
- The lab had its second annual Salt River Tubing adventure – without any sunburns this year!
- Dr. Sattler participated in her first Barrow Neurological Institute Grand Canyon Rim-to-Rim hike! She made it through without major problems and is planning on a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim for next year!
- Devika presented a poster and won third place at the 2017 Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF). Congratulations, Devika!
- The lab did a weekend camping trip to Prescott, Arizona. Lots of relaxing, hiking, cooking, and eating!
- The lab was awarded a pilot grant from the Arizona Alzheimer’s Disease Core Center (ADCC) to study patient-derived iPSC microglial cells in C9orf72 ALS/FTD
- On March 2, Camelia gave birth to a healthy baby boy, Stefan. Everybody is excited about our first lab baby!
- Andrew was accepted into the neuroscience graduate program at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. Congratulations, Andrew!
- Layla Ghaffari joined the laboratory as a research technician.
- Ileana was invited to give a presentation at the Synapses and Circuits: Formation, Function and Dysfunction Keystone Symposium in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
- Devika won first place at the BASIS High School Science Fair and is moving on to compete at the 2017 Arizona Science and Engineering Fair (AzSEF) to be held in April in Phoenix. Congratulations, Devika!
- Stephen received a graduate student spring fellowship from Arizona State University.
- Sarah was awarded a Bidstrup Undergraduate Fellowship to support her honor’s thesis research project.
- The laboratory was awarded a research grant by the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research.
- Dr. Rita Sattler and Dr. Stella Dracheva of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai were awarded a grant from the Department of Veterans Affairs to study the role of ADAR2-associated RNA editing in ALS.
- Congratulations to Camelia Burciu! She is expecting a baby boy, and we are very happy for her!
- Members of the Sattler Laboratory presented at two scientific conferences. Dr. Ileana Lorenzini presented work regarding GluA2 misediting in ALS at the 4th RNA Metabolism in Neurological Disease Satellite Meeting of the 11th Brain Research Conference and at the 2016 Society for Neuroscience (SfN) Annual Meeting, both in San Diego, California. Alex Starr also presented work investigating the role of a copper transporter mutation in ALS at the 2016 SfN Meeting.
- The Sattler Laboratory, along with colleagues from Barrow Neurological Institute and other institutions, participated in the ALS Association’s Walk to Defeat ALS in Scottsdale, Arizona. The annual walk supports the Arizona chapter of the ALS Association in its mission to fund ALS research and provide care for patients. Researchers, family, and friends filled Scottsdale Stadium and raised over $470,000!
- Camelia Burciu joined the laboratory as a research technician.
- Nancy Twishime gave a poster presentation summarizing her summer research at the Arizona Biosciences event.
- The Downtown Devil reported on our collaboration with Dr. Kruer’s Laboratory.
- The lab gathered at Dr. Sattler’s house for an end-of-the-summer pool party.
- Dr. Rita Sattler and Dr. Robert Bowser organized and chaired the Inaugural Arizona ALS Symposium. It was attended by more than 35 scientists and clinicians representing universities, nonprofits, hospitals, and the biomedical industry across Arizona. Over the course of three days, participants shared their work, formed new collaborations, and brainstormed future projects to expand our understanding and treatment of ALS.
- Andrew Nelson joined the laboratory as a research technician.
- Devika Shenoy, from BASIS High School in Scottsdale, joined the laboratory as an intern.
- The staff of the laboratory had a great time and grew as a team while tubing down the Salt River.
- Nancy gave an oral presentation of her summer research at the annual Barrow summer research student day.
- Sarah started her senior thesis project in our laboratory.
- The laboratory was awarded a grant with the Zarnescu Laboratory at the University of Arizona from the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) to study the role of metabolism in ALS.
- Ileana got engaged. Congratulations, Ileana!
- Stephen Moore joined the lab as a graduate student in neuroscience.
- Sara Swinford, an undergraduate student at ASU, began a summer internship with the laboratory.
- Nancy Twishime, a student at Bioscience High School in Phoenix, joined the laboratory as a summer intern.
- The laboratory was awarded a grant with the Kruer Laboratory at Phoenix Children’s Hospital from the Research Development and Partnership Initiative (RDPI) to study genetic forms of cerebral palsy.
- The first hiPSC neurons are differentiating in the new desert climate.
- All new microscopes are up and running.
- Stephen joined the laboratory as a Neuroscience graduate student on June 1.
- Sarah joined the laboratory as an undergraduate research summer intern on June 1.
- Ileana received an invitation to submit a postdoctoral fellowship application to the ALS association (ALSA).
- Ileana received a travel award for the American Society for Neurochemistry (ASN) Meeting in Denver, Colorado.
- Isaiah Tesfay joined the laboratory as an undergraduate research assistant.
- The laboratory received renewed funding from the Robert Packard Center for ALS Research.
- Alex Starr joined the laboratory as a new research technician.
- Ileana arrived in Phoenix and rejoined the Sattler Laboratory.
- Dr. Sattler and Jenny started setting up the Sattler Laboratory at Barrow.
Sattler Laboratory Publications
- Zhang PW, Haidet-Phillips AM, Pham JT, Lee Y, Huo Y, Tienari PJ, Maragakis NJ,Sattler R, Rothstein JD. Generation of GFAP::GFP astrocyte reporter lines from human adult fibroblast-derived iPS cells using zinc-finger nuclease technology.Glia. Aug 21 2015.
- Zhang K, Donnelly CJ, Haeusler AR, Grima JC, Machamer JB, Steinwald P, Daley EL, Miller SJ, Cunningham KM, Vidensky S, Gupta S, Thomas MA, Hong I, Chiu SL, Huganir RL, Ostrow LW, Matunis MJ, Wang J, Sattler R, Lloyd TE, Rothstein JD. The C9orf72 repeat expansion disrupts nucleocytoplasmic transport. Nature. Sep 3 2015;525(7567):56-61.
- Mendez EF, Sattler R. Biomarker development for C9orf72 repeat expansion in ALS. Brain Res. May 14 2015;1607:26-35.
- Li Y, Balasubramanian U, Cohen D, Zhang PW, Mosmiller E, Sattler R, Maragakis NJ, Rothstein JD. A comprehensive library of familial human amyotrophic lateral sclerosis induced pluripotent stem cells. PLoS One. 2015;10(3):e0118266.
- Ghosh M, Lane M, Krizman E, Sattler R, Rothstein JD, Robinson MB. Transcription Factor Pax6 Contributes to Induction of GLT-1 Expression in Astrocytes Through an Interaction with a Distal Enhancer Element. J Neurochem. Oct 20 2015.
- Haeusler AR, Donnelly CJ, Periz G, Simko EA, Shaw PG, Kim MS, Maragakis NJ, Troncoso JC, Pandey A, Sattler R, Rothstein JD, Wang J. C9orf72 nucleotide repeat structures initiate molecular cascades of disease. Nature. Mar 13 2014;507(7491):195-200.
- Donnelly CJ, Grima JC, Sattler R. Aberrant RNA homeostasis in amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: potential for new therapeutic targets? Neurodegener Dis Manag.2014;4(6):417-437.
- Abazyan S, Yang EJ, Abazyan B, Xia M, Yang C, Rojas C, Slusher B, Sattler R, Pletnikov M. Mutant disrupted-in-schizophrenia 1 in astrocytes: focus on glutamate metabolism. J Neurosci Res. Dec 2014;92(12):1659-1668.
- Roybon L, Lamas NJ, Garcia-Diaz A, Yang EJ, Sattler R, Jackson-Lewis V, Kim YA, Kachel CA, Rothstein JD, Przedborski S, Wichterle H, Henderson CE. Human stem cell-derived spinal cord astrocytes with defined mature or reactive phenotypes. Cell Rep. Sep 12 2013;4(5):1035-1048.
- Donnelly CJ, Zhang PW, Pham JT, Haeusler AR, Mistry NA, Vidensky S, Daley EL, Poth EM, Hoover B, Fines DM, Maragakis N, Tienari PJ, Petrucelli L, Traynor BJ, Wang J, Rigo F, Bennett CF, Blackshaw S, Sattler R, Rothstein JD. RNA toxicity from the ALS/FTD C9ORF72 expansion is mitigated by antisense intervention. Neuron.Oct 16 2013;80(2):415-428.
Sattler Laboratory Positions
At this time, we are actively recruiting postdoctoral fellows.
Join a highly enthusiastic research lab that will provide the opportunity to participate in cutting edge research involving the latest discoveries in ALS and FTD research. Our lab uses a combination of state of the art molecular, cellular, and imaging technologies coupled with hiPSCs, patient autopsy brain tissue, and novel animal models in the hopes of discovering future therapies for ALS and FTD patients. This research experience is ideal for someone interested in pursuing an advanced degree and/or a career as a researcher or practitioner, or for someone who loves science and research and aspires to help people.
Sattler Lab: Alumni
The following are a list of alumni of the Sattler Laboratory along with their first placement after leaving Barrow.
Former Research Technicians
Andrew Nelson — PhD Neuroscience Graduate Student, Thomas Jefferson University
Alex Starr — Pharmacology PhD Graduate Student, University of Pennsylvania
Layla Ghaffari — Neuroscience PhD Graduate Student, Thomas Jefferson University
Helen Magee — Clinical Translational Neuroscience Master’s Student, University of Arizona, College of Medicine Phoenix
Abigail Byford — Undergraduate Student, University of Leeds
Sarah Swinford — Research Technician, Norton Thoracic Institute
Isaiah Tesfay — Undergraduate Student, Arizona State University
Michael Goldstein — Undergraduate Student, Arizona State University
Jordyn Shevat — Undergraduate Student, Arizona State University
Devika Shenoy — Undergraduate Student, University of California-Los Angeles
Nancy Twishime — Undergraduate Barrett Honors College Student, Arizona State University