Dr. Michael F. Jackson

Dr. Michael F. Jackson
Assistant Professor
Department of Pharmacology & Therapeutics
University of Manitoba
753 McDermot Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba

***accepting applications from interested students and postdoctoral fellows***

Research Focus:

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a fatal neurodegenerative disorder characterized by progressive dementia and memory loss. AD and related dementias currently affect half a million Canadians. Moreover, ~100 000 new cases are diagnosed each year. However, a recent report, commissioned by the Alzheimer Society of Canada, suggests that within a generation over 1 million Canadians will be afflicted and the economic burden will grow to over $150 billion/year. These projections underscore the importance of identifying novel targets for the development of therapeutics agents effective in the prevention and management of neurodegeneration.

The deposition of amyloid-beta (Aβ) into insoluble plaques represents the hallmark pathological feature of an AD brain at autopsy. However, multiple lines of evidence suggest that the occurrence of soluble Aβ oligomers (AβOs), rather than the formation of plaques, is better correlated with the onset and progression of cognitive decline in human AD patients. Consequently, a major recent focus has been to characterize some of the earliest structural changes induced by AβOs. At the cellular level, AβOs induces a sequential series of alterations that include; increased intracellular Ca2+ and oxidative stress, disruption of plasticity at the glutamatergic synapse, perturbed synaptic structure, reduced spine density, and culminating with increased neuronal cell death. As a result, the initial stages of AD are increasingly being viewed as an attack on the glutamate synapse. However, the precise targets and contributing mechanisms through which AβOs disrupt these synapses remain to be elucidated. A major focus of my research is to understand how specific families of Ca2+-permeable channels, previously implicated in neurological disease, contribute to the loss of Ca2+ homeostasis, impaired synaptic transmission and plasticity as well as neuronal cell death associated with AD and other neurodegenerative disorders. These studies make use of multidisciplinary approaches including, electrophysiological, biochemical and cellular imaging techniques.

Publications: PubMed



Dr. Michael F. Jackson

Area of research: Neuropharmacology & Neurodegenerative Disorders

Dr. Michael Jackson
Title: Endoplasmic reticulum stress, Ca2+ permeation pathways and neuronal death
Grant Amount: $735,000.00 from Canadian Institutes of Health Research
April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018

Dr. Michael Jackson
Grant Amount: $279,015.19 from Canadian Institutes of Health Research
April 1, 2013 to September 30, 2014