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In Vivo Screening Of Therapeutic Small Molecules Against Parkinson’s Disease in C. elegans Models

We have developed small therapeutic molecules in vitro to identify potential cure for α-Synuclein (αS) aggregation- a process central to Parkinson’s disease (PD) in Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans). The goal of the project is to test the therapeutic molecules in vivo. The C. elegans will go through paralysis assay for 13 days and Confocal Imaging to support if the therapeutic molecule is a sufficient cure for PD. The pathological hallmark of PD is the abnormal aggregation and accumulation of neuronal proteins αS. These proteins assemble into plaques in PD brains. Once the protein adopts plaque conformation, it becomes toxic, and it can damage or deplete dopaminergic neurons. Dopaminergic neuronal death causes the onset of PD symptoms. Our lab has designed αS inhibitors as potential therapeutics which was tested on C. elegans. C. elegans are the perfect model organisms for this project as they mimic 60% of the human genome. Our findings showed that some therapeutics molecules decreased αS aggregation.