Ongoing areas of research

Welcome to the Cohen lab at UNC-Chapel Hill !

Our mission: 
To identify the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease.

We utilize a multidisciplinary approach from the "bottom-up", starting at the protein level and progressing towards more relevant models to answer fundamental questions about protein function and aggregation in neurodegenerative disease.


Although clinically and pathologically distinct, the disorders shown below share a common underlying pathogenic mechanism in which normally soluble proteins become abnormally sequestered into protein aggregates that can exert toxic loss and gain of functions in a tissue-specific manner.

Current research projects

1) Tau-mediated neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease


Tau acetylation causes increased tau aggregation in vitro and promote the formation of tau tangles observed in AD brain (Cohen et al., Nat Commun, 2011)

2) TDP-43 mediated neurodegeneration in ALS

TDP-43 modifications similarly promote aberrant pathology seen in diseased brain and spinal cord of ALS and FTLD-TDP patients. Understanding such post-translational mechanisms could lead to better therapeutic avenues to pursue for ALS, FTD and other diseases characterized by TDP-43 pathology.

3) Altered post-translationally modified proteome (PT-MAP) in neurodegenerative diseases.

Please contact me if you're interested in contributing to exciting research!
*****Open position for a postdoc fellow***** 

We are recruiting a highly motivated postdoc to investigate pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease using mouse models.  Brain techniques including sectioning, immunohistochemistry, tissue extraction, brain biochemistry, stereotactic mouse injections, and behavioral analysis will be performed on various transgenic and knockout mice. The candidate is expected to lead this project independently and manage several colonies of mice to address major questions regarding the tau protein in Alzheimer’s disease. Proficient record-keeping skills, presentation skills, and ability to collaborate with others in the lab is required.  Must have experience handling mice, performing experiments on mouse tissue, and extracting mouse tissues for subsequent biochemical or immunohistological analysis. This posting can be accessed directly at

Subpages (1): Publications