Pahan lab primarily focuses on central nervous system (CNS) cell signaling that leads
to demyelination in multiple sclerosis (MS) and spinal cord injury (SCI) and neuronal
death in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease (PD)
, Batten disease, and HIV-
associated dementia (HAD). All these disorders are characterized by activation of CNS
glial cells (astroglia and microglia), excessive production of different proinflammatory
molecules within the CNS, and death of either oligodendrocytes (MS and SCI) or
neurons (AD, PD
, Batten disease, and HAD).
From several angles, we are investigating mechanisms by which glial cells are
activated to release different proinflammatory molecules. We are also involved in
identifying signaling pathways by which glial cells may be redirected to produce
neuroprotective molecules and neural stem cells could be driven towards neurons and
myelin-producing cells (oligodendrocytes) within the neurodegenerative CNS.
Finally, we are trying to suppress neurotoxic signaling pathways and/or boost
neuroprotective signaling pathways in different animal models of neurodegenerative
diseases by nontoxic drugs in order to achieve neuroprotection.

Grant sources:
National Institutes of Health
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research
Alzheimer's Association