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Our Mission

In the Fitzpatrick Lab, we leverage the latest developments in cryo-electron microscopy with complementary biophysical techniques (proteomics, light-microscopy, microfluidics) to explore the molecular and structural basis of neurodegeneration. To this end, we determine the structure and behavior of amyloid fibrils, purified directly from postmortem brain tissue, that are implicated in a range of neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, we aim to understand the role of protein aggregation in vivo by visualizing the cellular changes that occur in response to the formation, clearance and spread of fibrillar inclusions using light-microscopy and cryo-electron tomography. We are in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics and the lab is currently located on Columbia’s Manhattanville Campus, in the Jerome L. Greene Science Center.

We welcome applications from interested individuals to join the lab; please contact Anthony.Fitzpatrick@columbia.edu

Recent Publication

Nature Cover

Cryo-EM structures of tau filaments from Alzheimer's disease.

A.W.P. Fitzpatrick, B. Falcon, S. He, G.N. Murshudov, A.G. Murzin, H.J. Garringer, R.A. Crowther, B. Ghetti, M. Goedert, S.H.W. Scheres.

News

October 10, 2018

Dr. Anthony Fitzpatrick and Collaborators Awarded $11.3M to Identify New Targets Against Brain Disease

Using cryo-electron microscopy (cryo-EM), Dr. Fitzpatrick’s team will focus their efforts primarily on tau tangles, clumps of misfolded tau protein that have been implicated in a host of diseases, most notably Alzheimer’s disease and chronic traumatic encephalopathy, or CTE. By reconstructing the structure of tau tangles in these diseases — atom by atom — the researchers hope to gain new insight into how tangles form, how they grow and how they drive disease progression. These findings will enable researchers to design drug molecules that prevent tangle buildup.