Dr. Achim's lab is studying mechanisms of chronic brain degeneration and potential therapeutic interventions to promote regeneration. In particular they are interested in 1) the pathogenesis of neurologic damage to AIDS dementia, and 2) new diagnostic and therapeutic interventions in Parkinson's disease. They are using in vitro and in vivo models based on primary human neuroglial cultures and in vivo models based on grafting in SCID mice and a primate model of PD. Currently they study the effects of neurotrophic factor s (e.g. BDNF) on the developing human neurons to better understand the mechanisms that control neuronal differentiation from stem and progenitor cells. Another line of research is based on the recently described neurotrophic activities of immunophilin ligands and their potential benefit in promoting neuro-regeneration. For better diagnostics in neurodegeneration, Dr. Achim's lab is using PET imaging with new tracers and new biomarkers of disease in neuropathologic studies (e.g. immunophilins and neurotrophin receptors). A recently initiated line of research is focused on the role played by the brain insulin receptor in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. Among the techniques developed and used routinely in the lab, are: tissue culture of human neuroglia, immunohistochemistry and laser confocal microscopy, immuno-EM, stereotactic brain cell transplantation, and a full complement of molecular biology protocols.
View Dr. Achim's publications on PubMed.
Green DA, Masliah E, Vinters HV, Beizai P, Moore DJ, Achim CL. Brain deposition of beta-amyloid is a common pathologic feature in HIV positive patients. AIDS. 2005 Mar 4;19(4):407-11.
Achim CL, Masliah E, Schindelar J, Avramut M. Immunophilin expression in the HIV-infected brain. J Neuroimmunol. 2004 Dec;157(1-2):126-32.
Li S, Xu J, Makarenkova VP, Tjandrawan T, Vakkila J, Reichert T, Gooding W, Lagenaur CF, Achim CL, Chambers WH, Herberman RB, Whiteside TL, Vujanovic NL. A novel epitope of N-CAM defines precursors of human adherent NK cells. J Leukoc Biol. 2004 Dec;76(6):1187-99. Epub 2004 Sep 8.
Avramut M, Achim CL. Immunophilins in nervous system degeneration and regeneration. Curr Top Med Chem. 2003;3(12):1376-82. Review.