The Kraus lab studies the protein seeds, i.e. self-propagating misfolded proteins, of neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, chronic traumatic encephalopathy, Parkinson’s, and prion diseases. This includes understanding what makes a misfolded protein transmissible, and what makes a transmissible protein seed pathogenic to the host. The lab uses ultrasensitive diagnostic assays (RT-QuIC), cryo-electron microscopy, cellular, and animal models to understand the structural underpinnings and biological mechanisms that contribute to the formation and accumulation of neurodegenerative disease-associated protein seeds. The lab also studies how different misfolded protein seeds interact with quality control mechanisms in a cell and the host immune system in ways that may aid clearance of these misfolded proteins.