Matthew Goldberg, Ph.D., awarded two NIH grants to advance Parkinson’s disease research

Matt Goldberg, Ph.D.
Matt Goldberg, Ph.D.

By: Julie Kirchem, Web Editor

DALLAS – Feb. 28, 2014 – Matthew Goldberg, Ph.D., was recently awarded two National Institutes of Health grants that will enable his lab to work with two newly developed and superior animal models for Parkinson’s disease research. Dr. Goldberg’s research focuses on identifying the mechanisms of neuronal degeneration in Parkinson’s disease.

In his pursuit of a neuroprotective therapy that would slow down or even halt the progression of Parkinson’s, Dr. Goldberg’s lab has worked with knockout mice but a better animal model is now available that should bring better results.

“These grants will enable us to work with two lines of knockout rats that reproduce the same age-dependent neuron loss that occurs in humans bearing the same mutations,” said Dr. Goldberg. “Obtaining animal models that reproduce the age-dependent loss of dopamine neurons has been the holy grail for pre-clinical research on Parkinson’s.”

His lab will be able to test how the mutations cause Parkinson’s disease-related pathology in a mammalian brain and to test neuroprotective therapies.

“We definitely have a renewed sense of optimism about our research,” said Dr. Goldberg.

Dr. Goldberg says his staff will also grow as a result of the new funding and that should lead to faster progress.

The NIH grants on PINK1 and DJ-1 mutations complement his lab’s funding from the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research on LRRK2 mutations linked to Parkinson’s disease.

Dr. Goldberg joined the faculty at UT Southwestern Medical Center in September 2005. He is an active member of the Neuroscience Graduate Program.

He is also member of the LRRK2 Biology Consortium and the Animal Models Steering Committee of the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research.