Research in the Yan laboratory focuses on investigating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of cellular stress and survival in neurodegenerative disorders relevant to Alzheimer’s disease (AD), multiple sclerosis, and diabetes. The lab has first identified the specific cellular targets and mitochondrial protein for amyloid-beta peptide (Aβ) and diabetes induced mitochondrial and synaptic injury. It developed several novel transgenic human disease mouse models relevant to AD, diabetes, and aging to test mitochondria-mediated signaling , which contributes to synaptic and cognitive dysfunction. Dr. Yan and her research team are the major group investigating these paradigms. Mitochondrial dysfunction is a hallmark of AD. The Yan laboratory discovered that Aβ progressively accumulated in mitochondria of brains from AD patients and transgenic AD-type mouse model. Accumulation of Aβ in mitochondria was associated with mitochondrial dysfunction. These studies provide new insights into mechanisms of Aβ-mediated mitochondrial toxicity causing neuronal damage relevant to AD and open new avenue for treatment of AD. The lab is identifying proteins which interact with mitochondrial Aβ in transgenic AD-type mouse models implicating for pathogenesis of AD. In addition, it is focusing on cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying ischemia-induced cerebral injury, and autoimmune disease such as EAE (experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis) animal model relevant to multiple sclerosis.