Dr. Ahrens-Nicklas works to understand why patients with inherited biochemical disorders often suffer severe, untreatable neurologic and cardiac symptoms. She strives to elucidate the link between biochemistry and network excitability, in order to drive new approaches to therapy.
Dr. Davidson works to understand the molecular basis of childhood onset neurodegenerative diseases and the development of gene and small molecule therapies for treatment. She also focuses on how noncoding RNAs participate in neural development and neurodegenerative disease processes, and how they can be harnessed for therapies.
Can Ficicioglu, MD, PhD, a physician-scientist who is an expert in genetic disorders called inborn errors of metabolism, was appointed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health to a statewide Rare Diseases Advisory Council.
Our research on childhood onset neurodegenerative diseases is focused on experiments to better understand the biochemistry and cell biology of proteins deficient in these disorders, and to develop small molecule or gene therapy based strategies for therapy. In recent work, we demonstrated that the application of recombinant viral vectors to various models of storage disease reversed CNS deficits and improved life span. We continue to develop novel vector systems to improve therapeutic outcomes.