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 Assistant
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.

Naila Ashraf
Research Assistant

Naila received a Bachelor of Science degree in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan in 2010.  She joined the lab in 2007 as an undergraduate laboratory assistant. Naila is working on the development of potential therapeutics for SCA3 or Machado-Joseph Disease using cellular and mouse models of the disease.


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
Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Dr. McLoughlin completed her undergraduate studies in Biology and Psychology at Iowa State University. She completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Iowa in the lab of Dr. Beverly Davidson. She joined the Paulson lab in July 2014 as a postdoctoral research fellow. Her main focus of the lab is 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 targets the disease Atxn3 gene to alleviate translation of the mutant protein that occurs in SCA3. She has been funded since July 2014 by the NIH T32 Postdoc Neurology Training Grant for her work identifying RNAinterference (RNAi) sequences that reduce level of the disease transcripts in a transgenic mouse model of SCA3. She is also using an alternative gene therapy approach to reduce ATXN3 levels, known as antisense-oligonucleotide (ASO) therapy. Through a collaboration with ISIS pharmaceutics, a world leader in antisense-oligonucleotide (ASO) therapies, she is one of the lead scientist for an ASO pre-clinical trial in a SCA3 transgenic mouse model. Finally, she is exploring potent biomarkers of disease in both animal model and patient tissue samples.

Robert Komlo
Research Technician

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

Rebecca Stone

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


Our Team of Undergraduate Students:

Kate Blumenstein

Will Fusillo

Regina Pacitto

Subpages (1): Affiliated Faculty