About SUNY REACH Neural Degeneration and RegenerationWith increasing longevity and improving of health care, our society is experiencing an unprecedented challenge posed by neurodegenerative diseases. More than four million Americans are suffering from Alzheimer's disease; this number is projected to balloon to 10-15 million over the next several decades. Combining this situation with the ravages caused by other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Parkinson's, multiple sclerosis, and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), it is easy to understand the urgency to find cures for these devastating disorders. In contrast to many acute diseases, neurodegenerative disorders are characterized by the chronic deterioration of the patients, placing huge burdens both emotionally and financially on their families. As a consequence, our aging society is spending tremendous amount of resources in palliative care of patients with neurodegenerative disorders, as there is no cure for any of these diseases at present. To reach a fundamental solution for this long-term problem, it is necessary for us to understand the root cause of neurodegeneration and develop novel therapies based on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of neurodegenerative diseases. To that end, researchers in the Neural Degeneration and Regeneration team use revolutionary stem cell technologies along with other in vivo and in vitro discovery tools seeking the cause and a cure for neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, ALS, multiple sclerosis. Our ultimate goal is to slow down, and ultimately to prevent, the neurodegeneration process and regenerate the damaged nervous system.
Jian Feng, PhD Group Leader