JOSH DUBNAU, Professor (Primary appointment: Department of Anesthesiology)
PhD Columbia University
Dr. Josh Dubnau received his PhD in 1995 from Columbia University, Dept. of Genetics and Development. He then did post-doctoral research at Cold Spring Harbor Lab with Prof. Tim Tully and then started his own research group at CSHL in 2002. In 2016, Dr. Dubnau moved his group to Stony Brook, where he is now a Professor in the Anesthesiology Department with a joint appointment in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior. Dr. Dubnau's PhD work, postdoctoral work, and most of the work in his lab make use of fruit flies as a model organism. When Dr. Dubnau was an undergraduate, he worked on phermone perception in the gypsy moth. And as a child, he often played with ants. So a common theme in Dr. Dubnau's life and training has been bugs.
The major focus of the Dubnau lab research is to investigate a novel mechanism that we have proposed to underlie amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and Frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD). We have accumulated substantial evidence to support the idea that some age related brain disorders such as ALS and FTLD and even AD involve activation of retrotransposons, which are viral like genetic entities that make up approximately 40% of the human genome. Our work on ALS/FTLD relies on a multidisciplinary approach that includes in vivo genetic experiments in Drosophila and rodent models, analysis of post mortem human tissue, a clinical biomarker study in cerebrospinal fluid, and cell culture assays.