Photo of Vivek K. Unni, M.D., Ph.D.

Vivek K. Unni M.D., Ph.D.

Dr. Unni’s research focuses on understanding the role of the protein alpha-synuclein in the mechanisms of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Multiple lines of evidence suggest that simply increasing levels of this protein by seemingly modest amounts can cause both genetic and idiopathic forms of PD. Dr. Unni uses transgenic models which over-express alpha-synuclein to study how abnormally high levels of this protein cause self-aggregation and neuronal dysfunction in the living brain, using advanced biochemical and in vivo multiphoton imaging techniques.

Education

  • Ph.D., Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons 2003
  • M.D., Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons 2003
  • Residency:

    • Neurology, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, 2007
  • Fellowship:

    • Movement disorders, Brigham & Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital, 2008
  • Certifications:

    • American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology, 2008

Memberships and associations

  • American Academy of Neurology

Publications

  • "G2019s-LRRK2 expression augments α-synuclein sequestration into inclusions in neurons." Journal of Neuroscience  In: , Vol. 36, No. 28, 13.07.2016, p. 7415-7427.
  • "Curcumin treatment improves motor behavior in α-synuclein transgenic mice." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 10, No. 6, e0128510, 02.06.2015.
  • "Mutations in XPR1 cause primary familial brain calcification associated with altered phosphate export." Nature Genetics  In: , Vol. 47, No. 6, 27.05.2015, p. 579-581.
  • "Progressive Aggregation of Alpha-Synuclein and Selective Degeneration of Lewy Inclusion-Bearing Neurons in a Mouse Model of Parkinsonism." Cell Reports  In: , Vol. 10, No. 8, 03.03.2015, p. 1252-1260.
  • "Presynaptic alpha-synuclein aggregation in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease." Journal of Neuroscience  In: , Vol. 34, No. 6, 2014, p. 2037-2050.
  • "Specific splice variants are associated with Parkinson's disease." Movement Disorders  In: , Vol. 28, No. 12, 10.2013, p. 1724-1727.
  • "Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy." Autophagy  In: , Vol. 8, No. 4, 04.2012, p. 445-544.
  • "Alpha-synuclein's degradation in vivo : Opening a new (cranial) window on the roles of degradation pathways in Parkinson disease." Autophagy  In: , Vol. 8, No. 2, 02.2012.
  • "Distinct roles in vivo for the Ubiquitin-Proteasome system and the Autophagy-Lysosomal Pathway in the Degradation of α-Synuclein." Journal of Neuroscience  In: , Vol. 31, No. 41, 12.10.2011, p. 14508-14520.
  • "Association of SNCA with Parkinson : Replication in the Harvard NeuroDiscovery Center Biomarker Study." Movement Disorders  In: , Vol. 26, No. 12, 10.2011, p. 2283-2286.
  • "Studying protein degradation pathways in vivo using a cranial window-based approach." Methods  In: , Vol. 53, No. 3, 03.2011, p. 194-200.
  • "In vivo imaging of α-synuclein in mouse cortex demonstrates stable expression and differential subcellular compartment mobility." PLoS One  In: , Vol. 5, No. 5, e10589, 2010.
  • "Calcium release from presynaptic ryanodine-sensitive stores is required for long-term depression at hippocampal CA3-CA3 pyramidal neuron synapses." Journal of Neuroscience  In: , Vol. 24, No. 43, 27.10.2004, p. 9612-9622.
  • "Essential roles in synaptic plasticity for synaptogyrin I and synaptophysin I." Neuron  In: , Vol. 24, No. 3, 11.1999, p. 687-700.
  • "Networks of coactive neurons in developing layer 1." Neuron  In: , Vol. 20, No. 3, 03.1998, p. 541-552.

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