Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences
- Director, Neurodegenerative Disease and Aging Research Focus Area
The Fleming lab conducts basic and translational research on Parkinson’s disease (PD), the most common neurodegenerative movement disorder. Parkinson’s disease is part of a group of neurodegenerative disorders characterized by the abnormal accumulation of the presynaptic protein alpha-synuclein in lewy bodies and lewy neurites called synucleinopathies. We make use of tools and methods supplied by genetics, molecular biology, and behavioral neuroscience, all in an effort to identify mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease. In the laboratory we employ a battery of motor and non-motor behavioral assays combined with analysis of alpha-synuclein aggregation, autophagy, inflammation, and mitochondrial efficiency to determine the efficacy of potential therapeutics.
Area of Expertise/Research Interests
- Behavioral neuroscience
- Parkinson’s disease
- Exercise in neurodegenerative disease
- Cognitive and neuropsychiatric dysfunction in neurodegenerative disease
- Dirr E, Ekhator OR, Blackwood R, Holden JG, Masliah E, Schultheis PJ, Fleming SM (2018). Exacerbation of phenotype in mice that lack of ATP13A2 and overexpress human wildtype alpha-synuclein. Behavioural Brain Research, 343: 41-49.
- Fleming SM (2017). Mechanisms of gene-environment interactions in Parkinson’s disease. Current Environmental Health Reports, 4(2): 192-199.
- Schultheis PJ, Fleming SM, Clippinger A, Lewis J, Giasson B, Dixon DW, Bardgett ME, Krainc D, Mazzulli JR, Tsunemi T, Haik KL, Ekhator E, Chava AK, Howard J, Gannon M, Hoffman E, Chen Y, Prasad V, Linn S, Shull GE (2013). Atp13a2-Deficient Mice Exhibit Neuronal Ceroid Lipofuscinosis, Limited α-Synuclein Accumulation, and Age-Dependent Sensorimotor Deficits. Human Molecular Genetics, 22(10): 2067-2082.
- Fleming SM, Jordan MC, Mulligan CK, Masliah E, Holden JG, Millard RW, Chesselet MF, Roos KP (2013). Impaired baroreflex function in mice overexpressing alpha-synuclein. Frontiers Neurology 4 (103): 1-8.
- Fleming SM, Schallert T, Ciucci MR (2012). Cranial and Related Sensorimotor Impairments in Rodent Models of Parkinson’s Disease. Behavioural Brain Research, 231(2):317-22.