Dr. Earl Godfrey
The goal of Dr. Godfrey’s current research is to test a new therapy using cells from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease) and frontotemporal dementia (FTD), the second most common cause of dementia. The therapy involves a DNA- and RNA-binding protein, Pur-alpha, discovered by his collaborator at EVMS, Dr. Edward Johnson. The protein binds to an expanded RNA repeat sequence found in cells of patients with the most common genetic form of both ALS and FTD, the C9ORF72 expanded hexanucleotide repeat (GGGGCC). In a fly model of this mutation, overexpression of Pur-alpha has been shown to reduce neurodegeneration. Pur-alpha and Pur peptides developed by Dr. Johnson and Dr. Dianne Daniel bind tightly to the C9ORF72 repeat and partially reverse cellular pathology in cells from C9ORF72 ALS patients. We plan to test Pur peptides in patient cells and neurons expressing the C9ORF72 hexanucleotide repeat expansion. After optimizing the treatment of cells, we plan to test the peptides in mice, with a view toward possible therapy in patients.
Lab MembershipsGodfrey Lab (Principal Investigator/Director)
Department of Pathology and Anatomy,
Eastern Virginia Medical School
757 446 5609
Fax: 757 446 5719