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Faculty Detail    
Name ASHLEY HARMS
Assistant Professor
 
Campus Address CIRC 516 Zip 0021
Phone  (205) 996-6329
E-mail  anharms@uab.edu
Other websites Lab Website
     

Education
Undergraduate  Texas A&M University    2006  B.S. Biology 
Graduate  University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center    2010  PhD 


Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Neurology   Neurology Chair Office Assistant Professor
Center  Neurology   Ctr Neurodegeneration & Exp Ther (CNET) Assistant Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Genetics, Genomics and Bioinformatics 
Immunology 
Neuroscience 
Neuroscience Graduate Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Ashley S. Harms, PhD, is an assistant professor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) in the Department of Neurology and the Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics. As a dedicated neuroimmunologist, Dr. Harms studies the cellular and immunological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of alpha-synucleinopathy disorders. Utilizing novel genetic and viral model approaches to study the role of immune cells subsets, her lab focuses on how the protein alpha-synuclein contributes to microglial activation, peripheral immune cell infiltration, and subsequent activation of the immune response in Parkinsonís disease and multiple system atrophy.



Research/Clinical Interest
Title
Neuroimmunology of Alpha-Synucleinopathy Disorders
Description
My lab's overall research goal is to understand and investigate the cellular and immunological mechanisms underlying the initiation and progression of synucleinopathy disorders. Specifically, my lab research focuses on how the protein alpha-synuclein contributes to microglial activation, peripheral immune cell infiltration, and subsequent activation of the immune response in Parkinson disease (PD) and Multiple System Atrophy (MSA) models. In the lab we work with multiple immune cell types, including myeloid cell subsets and T cells to pursue research regarding these mechanisms. Therapeutic strategies targeting and blocking immune system activation have been neuroprotective, however, differentially targeting immune cell subsets in the central nervous system (CNS), specifically microglia, without undesirable effects on extra-CNS immunity has been a challenge. By combining transgenic animals with an alpha-synuclein viral models of PD and MSA to study the role of immune cells subsets, we aim to dissect mechanisms of immune-mediated disease pathogenesis in synucleinopathy disorders.

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
MHCII is required for alpha-synuclein-induced activation of microglia, CD4 T cell proliferation, and dopaminergic neurodegeneration  23739956 
Peripheral monocyte entry is required for alpha-Synuclein induced inflammation and Neurodegeneration in a model of Parkinson disease  29155051 
Alpha-Synuclein fibrils recruit peripheral immune cells in the rat brain prior to neurodegeneration  29162163 
Targeting of the class II transactivator attenuates inflammation and neurodegeneration in an alpha-synuclein model of Parkinson's disease
 
30165873 
Innate and adaptive immune responses in Parkinson's disease  32247364 
Inflammation in Experimental Models of alpha-Synucleinopathies  33009855 
T cell infiltration in both human multiple system atrophy and a novel mouse model of the disease
 
31993745 

Keywords
Neuroimmunology, Neuroscience, Immunology, Neurodegeneration, Aging, Glia