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Yeast Reveals New Drug Target for Parkinson’s

Many progressive neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, and Parkinson’s disease, are characterized by abnormal clumps of proteins that clog up the cell and disrupt normal cellular functions. But it’s difficult to study these complex disease processes directly in the brain—so NIH-funded researchers, led by a team at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA, have turned to yeast for help.

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Neurologist Vikram Khurana brings a new perspective to Parkinson’s disease research

When neurologist Dr. Vikram Khurana tells his patients that he’s doing all he can to help them, he’s not exaggerating—after treating patients for Parkinson’s disease in the clinic, he works to find a cure for Parkinson’s in the lab. Part clinician, part researcher, Khurana is both an attending neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital and a scientist at Whitehead Institute. His research focuses on discovering new therapeutics capable of reversing the neurodegeneration that is a hallmark of Parkinson’s.

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