Diane E. Merry, Ph.D.

Javits Award
Diane E. Merry
Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia , PA

Dr. Merry’s research aims to understand the molecular pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative disease spinal and bulbar muscular atrophy (SBMA), which is caused by the polyglutamine expansion within the androgen receptor. Her lab uses biochemical, molecular, and cell biological approaches to yield novel therapeutics for SBMA. Her project aims to develop a mechanistic understanding of hormone-dependent, polyglutamine-expanded androgen receptor toxicity. Her lab will accomplish this through interactome screens in SBMA cell models and in spinal cord and muscle tissues of a validated mouse model of SBMA, mechanistic studies of the role of interacting protein USP7, and of other differential interactors in SBMA. The overarching goal of this project is to develop a novel therapeutic approach specifically targeting the USP7-AR interaction in SBMA.