Current Members

Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD
Phone: (734) 615-5632

Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD, is the Lucile Groff Professor of Neurology for Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders in the Department of Neurology at the University of Michigan and a Taubman Scholar in the A. Alfred Taubman Medical Research Institute. Dr. Paulson joined the U-M faculty in 2007, where he directs the programs in degenerative brain diseases and the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center. Dr. Paulson received his MD and PhD from Yale University in 1990, then completed a neurology residency and neurogenetics/movement disorders fellowships at the University of Pennsylvania. From 1997 to 2007, he was on the faculty at the University of Iowa. Dr. Paulson’s research interests concern the causes and treatment of age-related neurodegenerative diseases, with an emphasis on Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, hereditary ataxia, and polyglutamine diseases. Dr. Paulson serves on the scientific advisory boards of numerous disease-related national organizations, and is past Chairperson of the Board of Scientific Counselors at the National Institute for Neurological Disorders and Stroke at the National Institutes of Health. 

Svetlana Fischer
Research Lab Specialist/Lab Manager
Phone:  (734) 615-6156

Svetlana received her Master of Science degree in Biology from Tomsk State University in Russia. Her research focuses on the role of expanded-polyQ ataxin-3 and its aggregation in the progress of Machado-Joseph disease (or SCA3) using transgenic mouse models. She is also interested in RNAi-mediated therapeutics for SCA3 using in vivo brain delivery in the same disease models.

Lisa Sharkey, PhD
Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (734) 615-6156

Dr. Sharkey completed her Ph.D in Neuroscience at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has completed 2 postdoctoral fellowships studying the molecular mechanisms of neurological disease at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA, Department of Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience, and at the University of Michigan in the Department of Human Genetics. In her current position in Dr. Paulson's laboratory she is interested in studying the mechanisms of neurodegeneration underlying two common forms of dementia: Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia (FTD). Ubiquillin2 (Ub2) is a member of a family of proteins containing ubiquitin-like domains that has been implicated in the trafficking of proteins tagged for degradation to the proteasome. Mutations in Ub2 have been shown to cause FTD and Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). In order to investigate the function of this poorly understood protein, Dr. Sharkey has developed transgenic mouse lines expressing WT and mutant forms of Ub2. Her goal is to use these mice to understand the cellular role of Ub2 in protein quality control both in health and disease states.

Lauren Moore
Graduate Student                                       

Lauren is a pre-candidate doctoral student in the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University 
of Michigan. She received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Physics at Northeastern University in 2013 and joined the Paulson lab in June 2014. Her research focuses on developing and testing oligonucleotide-based approaches to silencing ataxin-3 translation in cellular and rodent models of spinocerebellar ataxia type 3.

Hayley S. McLoughlin, PhD
Research Investigator 

Dr. Hayley McLoughlin, under the mentorship of Dr. Beverly Davidson, earned her doctoral degree in Neuroscience in 2013 at the University of Iowa. During her graduate work, she focused her studies on the role of small RNA biology in context of neural development and evolution. Given her background in small RNA biology and graduate training in a renowned gene therapy laboratory, she pursued a postdoctoral research fellowship under the guidance of Dr. Henry Paulson at the University of Michigan. Her focus in the lab was developing a gene therapy approach for Spinocerebellar Ataxia type 3/Machado-Joseph disease (SCA3/MDJ) and identifying therapeutic biomarkers of disease progression and therapeutic efficacy. Her work specifically tested oligonucleotide therapeutic strategies again the disease Atxn3 gene. She was funded from 2014-2016 by the NIH T32 Postdoc Neurology Training Grant and the Becky Babcox Foundation for her work identifying RNA interference (RNAi) sequences that reduce disease transcript levels in a transgenic SCA3 mouse model. In 2016, she was promoted to Research Investigator in the Neurology department at UM to continue her career focusing on gene therapy approaches for prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Specifically, through a collaboration with IONIS pharmaceuticals, a world leader in antisense-oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies, she leads the ASO pre-clinical trial for SCA3 disease. She also focuses her research on exploring potent biomarkers of disease in both animal model and patient tissue samples for neurodegenerative diseases.


Robert Komlo
Research Lab Tech Intermediate

Rob is a research technician who joined the lab in 2015. 

Julia Gerson, PhD
Postdoctoral Fellow

Julia completed her doctoral studies in 2016 at the University of Texas Medical Branch where she studied tau oligomer structures in neurodegenerative disease and evaluated the efficacy of immunotherapy against oligomeric tau in mouse models. In the Paulson lab, Julia investigates the role of protein quality control protein, UBQLN2, in regulating tau and other common aggregating proteins in neurodegenerative disease.

Rebecca Stone

Administrative Assistant
Phone: (734) 615-5632
Fax: (734) 647-9777


Our Team of Undergraduate Students:

Kate Blumenstein

Emily Crowley

Michelle Hoang

Megan McKenzie

Emily Shaw

Aidan Snell

Jacqueline Welday

Cade Cantu

Madison Salvato

Danielle DiFranco

Maurice Tohme

Hannah Perlstein

Zaid Haque

Nicholas Stec

Mary Claire Manley

Vivian Yang

Keyshla Negron 

Subpages (1): Affiliated Faculty