Lab Members

Henry L. Paulson, MD, PhD

Lucille Groff Professor of Neurology

Phone: 734.615.5632Email:

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 interim co-director of the Michigan Neuroscience Institute. Dr. Paulson joined the U-M faculty in 2007, where he directs the Michigan Alzheimer’s Disease Center and formerly co-directed the Protein Folding Disease Initiative. He 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. For his work on repeat expansion diseases and gene silencing as therapy for neurodegenerative disorders, he has been elected as a fellow in both the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and the National Academy of Medicine. He is most proud of having received, in 2020, NIH’s Landis Outstanding Mentor Award.

Lisa M. Sharkey, Ph.D.

Assistant Research Professor
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.

Hanna Trzeciakiewicz, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral fellow

Hanna became a member of the Paulson lab in June 2020 and a trainee in the Neurology Department Training Grant (T32). It is her goal to uncover nonconventional molecular mechanisms associated with neurodegeneration, by investigating tau protein post-translational modifications and degradation pathways. She began conducting research on tau at Oakland University, where she received a BSc in Biochemistry. Hanna continued to study the tau protein at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was awarded with a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and received a PhD in Biochemistry and Biophysics. When not investigating many facets of tau protein biochemistry, Hanna enjoys exploring, experimenting in the kitchen, and taking long walks with her Yorkshire terrier.

Harihar Milaganur Mohan, MS

Graduate Student
Hari is a PhD candidate in the Cellular and Molecular Biology Program. He obtained his undergraduate degree from SASTRA University (India) and his Master’s from the University of Michigan, where he worked on alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency. At the Paulson lab, he seeks to understand the molecular mechanisms of ubiquilin biology beyond proteasomal shuttling, in particular during cellular stress. Outside of lab, Hari enjoys sketching, running and playing soccer.

Bryce Trotter, MS

Research Associate
Bryce received his Master of Science from Georgetown University in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology where he studied extracellular vesicles and their relationship with cancer associated fibroblasts in pancreatic cancer. Since joining the Paulson lab in August 2021, he works on various projects investigating Ubiquilin-2 interactions and its role in proteostasis in neurodegeneration.

Nyjerus Liggans, BS

Research Associate
Nyjerus received his Bachelors degree in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. While an undergrad, he worked in the Paulson lab studying Ubiquilin-1, 2 and 4 and looking at the interactions between ubiquilin-2 and tau in neurodegenerative disease. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling/adventuring and reading.

Mary Skinner, MS

Research Lab Specialist Lead
Mary received her BS in Biochemistry and Toxicology from Eastern Michigan University and completed her MS thesis in Cellular and Molecular Biology at EMU studying plant cell wall components in yeast and Arabidopsis model systems. She spent 10 years in the University of Michigan Pathology and Biogerontology departments managing the Lombard Lab and researching the mechanisms of age-related pathologies using cancer cell and mouse models. In April 2022, she joined the Paulson Lab, focusing on lab management and research in neurodegenerative disease. In her free time, she enjoys burning family meals, reading Hemingway biographies, collecting magnets, and going on adventures.

Current Undergraduate Students

Rachel Kim

Annie Li

Kulin Oak

Jaimie Hojung Ryou

Azeem Saifee