Laboratory of Jeffrey H. Kordower, PhD

Our lab is interested in the study of aging and neurodegenerative disease. We have special expertise in pathogenesis (how the brain degenerates) and experimental therapeutic strategies in Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple system atrophy – especially using nonhuman primate models.

Our work

Our group was the first to demonstrate that fetal dopaminergic grafts can survive, innervate and form synapses in patients with Parkinson’s. We also showed that these grafts can form Parkinson’s pathology. Our current focus is on using embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells as cell replacement therapies in animal models of Parkinson’s.

We showed that gene delivery of the trophic factors GDNF and neurturin can prevent the emergence of motor symptoms and nigrostriatal degeneration in a monkey model of Parkinson’s. We were also the first to demonstrate that gene delivery of trophic factors can obviate neurodegenerative processes in nonhuman primate models of Huntington’s disease and Alzheimer’s.

We are also interested in investigating the role of misfolded proteins in Parkinson’s pathogenesis and its spread as a prion-like disorder. We are also interested in the role of alpha synuclein misfolding on Nurr1 and dopamine expression, lysosomal and proteasomal dysfunction, and axonal transport defects. In addition, we are using preformed fibrils and patient-derived stem cells to model the spread of alpha-synuclein in multiple animal models.


We have extensive experience performing stereotactic surgery in rodents and nonhuman primates, neurobehavioral testing, histology, confocal microscopy, and stereological analysis.


Our studies are funded by multiple NIH grants, the Michael J. Fox Foundation, the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and industry contracts.

Our team

  • Jeffrey H. Kordower, PhD,The Alla V. Solomon Jesmer Professor of Neurological Sciences 
  • Gina Folino-Mazzei, Lab Manager
  • Scott Muller, Primate Lab Supervisor
  • Yaping Chu, MD, Director of Morphological Studies
  • Yinzhen He, MD, Histological Technician
  • David J. Marmion, MS, Neuroscience PhD Candidate
  • Jeremy Molina, Research Assitant 
  • Benjamin M. Hiller, Integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate Student 
  • Diptaman Chatterjee, Integrated Biomedical Sciences Graduate student 
  • Rachel Harker, Research Assitant 
  • Matthew Sepulveda, Research Assistant 
  • Rose Folino Carocci, Administrative Manager
  • Angela Rutkowski, Research Volunteer 
  • Abdul Mohammed, Research Volunteer 
Contact Us

Jeffrey H. Kordower, PhD

Rush University Medical Center
Cohn Research Building
1735 W. Harrison St., Room 308
Chicago, IL 60612
Phone: (312) 563-3585