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Hana Nenicka Dawson

Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Neurology
Campus mail: 201C Bryan Res Bldg, Research Drive, Durham, NC 27710
Phone: (919) 684-5453
Email address:

Our laboratory studies the role of tau protein in neurodegeneration. Aggregated tau protein is a hallmark feature of a group of neurodegenerative dementias called tauopathies. This group of diseases accounts for a large majority of all dementias and includes Alzheimer's disease, Pick's disease and frontotemporal dementia to name a few.
To model tauopathies, we overexpressed normal and mutated human tau protein or no tau protein in the central nervous system of transgenic mice. Several of these models replicate the human disease and acquired age-dependent central nervous system pathology. Utilizing these diverse models with molecular, cellular and whole animal techniques, our goal is to clarify the role of tau related neuropathology and to uncover strategies with which to treat human tauopathies.
By crossbreeding our models to other transgenic mice we are examining mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease, frontotemporal dementia, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and head injury. We also collaborate with clinical colleagues to bridge the gap between basic and clinical research.

Education and Training

  • Ph.D., University of South Florida, 1996