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Faculty Detail    
Virginia B. Spencer Professor of Neuroscience
Co-Director, Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics
Campus Address SHEL 1110 Zip 2182
Phone  205-996-9486
Other websites Lab Website
CNET Website

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Neurology   Neurology Chair Office Associate Professor
Secondary  Neurobiology  Neurobiology Associate Professor
Center  Neurology   Alzheimer's Disease Center Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Associate Professor
Center  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med Associate Professor
Center  Neurology   Ctr Neurodegeneration & Exp Ther (CNET) Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Medical Scientist Training Program 
Pathobiology and Molecular Medicine 

Biographical Sketch 
Dr. Roberson received his A.B. in Molecular Biology with highest honors from Princeton University in 1990. He earned an M.D. and Ph.D in Neuroscience at Baylor College of Medicine, where he studied biochemical mechanisms of learning and memory in the laboratory of Dr. J. David Sweatt. He then moved to the University of California San Francisco for neurology residency. He served as Chief Resident in Neurology at UCSF, where he also completed a clinical fellowship in behavioral neurology with Dr. Bruce Miller. He resumed basic research in the laboratory of Dr. Lennart Mucke at the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, studying mouse models of neurodegenerative diseases. He was appointed as Assistant Professor of Neurology at UCSF in 2005. In 2008, he moved to UAB where he is now Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology and the Virginia B. Spencer Professor of Neuroscience.

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
American Academy of Neurology 
American Neurological Association 
International Society to Advance Alzheimer Research and Treatment 
Molecular and Cellular Cognition Society 
Society for Neuroscience 

Research/Clinical Interest
Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia
The Roberson lab studies the neurobiology of two common neurodegenerative disorders, Alzheimer Disease and Frontotemporal Dementia, with a focus on understanding the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms that will lead to better treatments. We apply modern neuroscience approaches to study animal and cellular models of these conditions. We have shown that reducing expression of the microtubule-associated protein tau makes the brain resistant to Alzheimer-related impairments, and are using a variety of behavioral, electrophysiological, and biochemical approaches to better understand this protective effect. We are also studying animal models of frontotemporal dementia to understand how mutations in tau and progranulin cause the social and behavioral dysfunction seen in this condition.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
Matilla A, Roberson ED, Banfi S, Morales J, Armstrong DL, Burright EN, Orr HT, Sweatt JD, Zoghbi HY, Matzuk MM. Mice lacking ataxin-1 display learning deficits and decreased hippocampal paired-pulse facilitation.
J Neurosci. 1998 Jul 15;18(14):5508-16. 
Roberson ED, Sweatt JD. Transient activation of cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase during hippocampal long-term potentiation.
J Biol Chem. 1996 Nov 29;271(48):30436-41. 
Roberson ED, Halabisky B, Yoo JW, Yao Y, Chin J, Yan F, Wu T, Hamto P, Devidze N, Yu GY, Palop JJ, Noebels JL, and Mucke L. (2011). Amyloid-beta/Fyn–induced synaptic, network, and cognitive impairments depend on tau levels in multiple mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease.
J. Neurosci., 31:700–711. 
Rabinovici GD and Roberson ED. (2010). Beyond diagnosis: What biomarkers are teaching us about the “bio”logy of Alzheimer disease.
Ann. Neurol. 67:283–285. 
Meilandt WJ, Yu GQ, Chin J, Roberson ED, Palop JJ, Wu T, Scearce-Levie K, Mucke L. Enkephalin elevations contribute to neuronal and behavioral impairments in a transgenic mouse model of Alzheimer's disease.
J Neurosci. 2008 May 7;28(19):5007-17. 
Scearce-Levie K, Roberson ED, Gerstein H, Cholfin JA, Mandiyan VS, Shah NM, Rubenstein JL, Mucke L. Abnormal social behaviors in mice lacking Fgf17.
Genes Brain Behav. 2008 Apr;7(3):344-54. 
Palop JJ, Chin J, Roberson ED, Wang J, Thwin MT, Bien-Ly N, Yoo J, Ho KO, Yu GQ, Kreitzer A, Finkbeiner S, Noebels JL, Mucke L. Aberrant excitatory neuronal activity and compensatory remodeling of inhibitory hippocampal circuits in mouse models of Alzheimer's disease.
Neuron. 2007 Sep 6;55(5):697-711. 
Roberson ED, Scearce-Levie K, Palop JJ, Yan F, Cheng IH, Wu T, Gerstein H, Yu GQ, Mucke L. Reducing endogenous tau ameliorates amyloid beta-induced deficits in an Alzheimer's disease mouse model.
Science. 2007 May 4;316(5825):750-4. 
Roberson ED, Mucke L. 100 years and counting: prospects for defeating Alzheimer's disease.
Science. 2006 Nov 3;314(5800):781-4. 
Roberson ED. Frontotemporal dementia.
Curr Neurol Neurosci Rep. 2006 Nov;6(6):481-9. 
Mueller-Steiner S, Zhou Y, Arai H, Roberson ED, Sun B, Chen J, Wang X, Yu G, Esposito L, Mucke L, Gan L. Antiamyloidogenic and neuroprotective functions of cathepsin B: implications for Alzheimer's disease.
Neuron. 2006 Sep 21;51(6):703-14. 
Roberson ED, Hesse JH, Rose KD, Slama H, Johnson JK, Yaffe K, Forman MS, Miller CA, Trojanowski JQ, Kramer JH, Miller BL. Frontotemporal dementia progresses to death faster than Alzheimer disease.
Neurology. 2005 Sep 13;65(5):719-25. 
Roberson ED, Sweatt JD. A biochemical blueprint for long-term memory.
Learn Mem. 1999 Jul-Aug;6(4):381-8. 
Roberson ED, English JD, Sweatt JD. A biochemist's view of long-term potentiation.
Learn Mem. 1996 Jul-Aug;3(1):1-24. 
Roberson ED, English JD, Adams JP, Selcher JC, Kondratick C, Sweatt JD. The mitogen-activated protein kinase cascade couples PKA and PKC to cAMP response element binding protein phosphorylation in area CA1 of hippocampus.
J Neurosci. 1999 Jun 1;19(11):4337-48. 

Neurodegeneration, Alzheimer's disease, frontotemporal dementia, epilepsy, tau, signaling, plasticity, behavior