Anne Messer

Researcher examines the causes of and treatments for neurodegenerative diseases

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Anne Messer

School of Public Health
Department: Biomedical Sciences

Neurodegenerative disorders (Huntington's Disease; Parkinson's Disease); stem cells; human genetics

Campus phone: (518) ) 694-8188
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Professor of biomedical sciences Anne Messer's research interests include neurogenetics and neurodegenerative diseases.

As a research scientist at the Wadsworth Center of the N.Y. State Department of Health (directing the Molecular Genetics Program, and the Laboratory of Human Genetics), she has published over 100 papers on genetics, mechanisms, and therapeutics for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, including papers in Nature, Nature Genetics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Therapy, and major neuroscience journals.

She has been funded by multiple NIH grants and several disease foundations, while reviewing grants for over 25 NIH study sections, and 12 national and international funding agencies. In the late 1990s, she pioneered the use of engineered antibody fragments (nanobodies and intrabodies) to counteract the cellular effects of misfolding proteins in stressed and aging cells. Since then, she has amassed a body of publications applying this technology to Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease, ranging from antibody engineering and nanobody selection to in vivo delivery by novel gene therapies.

There are many commonalities between the neurodegenerative diseases that have been her primary focus and the breakdown of cellular function in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Therefore, she recently moved her most relevant technology and extensive expertise to NSCI, to bring this powerful approach to the exciting stem cell work being done by her long-term colleagues, Drs. Sally Temple and Jeff Stern.

Messer received her PhD in Molecular Biology from the Univ. Oregon Institute of Molecular Biology, studying the genetics of membrane permeation in E. coli.