Welcome to the Condello Lab




Microglia (blue-green) interacting with tau tangle-bearing neuron (orange) in a mouse model of tauopathy


The major interest of the Condello lab is to study the cellular and molecular biology of neurodegenerative diseases. Our research program can be divided into 3 thematic areas: 1) We aim to understand the complex and dynamic role of glial cells, in particular microglia, and study their functional interactions with healthy and degenerating neurons. 2) We are focused on elucidating mechanisms of neuronal and glial vulnerability or resilience to aberrant protein accumulation (proteinopathy) as found in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related disorders (ADRDs). 3) My lab is studying the kinetics, toxicity and conformational heterogeneity of pathogenic protein self-assemblies ("prions") causing AD and ADRDs. Because of these interests, the lab has recruited a diverse team of scientists and established several collaborations with chemists, structural biologists, bioengineers, and neurobiologists to pursue these interconnected topics.

To reveal biological mechanisms of protein aggregation, neurodegeneration, and innate immunity (microglia biology), we employ an interdisciplinary approach including cell and molecular neuroscience, biophysics, chemical biology and systems biology methods.  Often, we innovate new imaging approaches and model systems to illuminate complex neurobiological phenomena not easily studied with conventional methods.  We employ genetic and pharmacological manipulations to define cause and effect relationships in mouse and rat models. In tandem, we study genetic risk factors (e.g., TREM2 and CSF1R mutants) and human biology of disease using patient brain samples and human cell lines to inform and validate discoveries made in our rodent models.

In summary, the Condello lab is a multidisciplinary laboratory with strong collaborations across multiple departments pursuing topics ranging from basic to translational neuroscience. We are driven to discover mechanisms, biomarkers, and therapeutics for neurodegenerative disease.