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Therapeutic Strategies

Excess glucocerebroside that builds up in the cells of patients with Gaucher disease can be broken down by enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) or partially blocked by substrate reduction therapy (SRT), both of which are routine treatments of Gaucher disease. Although ERT and SRT have been effective in resolving many Gaucher disease symptoms, their effectiveness on skeletal and neurological symptoms in particular has been limited. One approach that has the potential to address these barriers is gene therapy.

The labs of Drs. Ginns and Ostroff are working toward developing an orally administered gene therapy to restore enzyme activity in mouse models of Gaucher disease, with the ultimate goal of improving delivery of glucocerebrosidase to many tissues, including bone and brain tissue. The successful development of this innovative therapeutic strategy could provide a safer, more efficient, and cost-effective treatment for Gaucher disease. The Ginns Lab is also using mouse models of Gaucher disease to investigate Gaucher-related Parkinsonism, as individuals carrying a GBA1 mutation have an increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease.


Glucocerebrosidase haploinsufficiency in A53T α-synuclein mice impacts disease onset and course

Authors: Tayebi N, Parisiadou L, Berhe B, Gonzalez AN, Serra-Vinardell J, Tamargo RJ, Maniwang E, Sorrentino Z, Fujiwara H, Grey RJ, Hassan S, Blech-Hermoni YN, Chen C, McGlinchey R, Makariou-Pikis C, Brooks M, Ginns EI, Ory DS, Giasson BI, and Sidransky E

Published in 2017 in Molecular Genetics & Metabolism

To investigate the link between GBA1 mutations and Parkinson’s disease, this study examined the onset and course of disease in a mouse model recapitulating the accelerated Parkinson’s disease course observed in loss-of-function GBA1 mutation carriers.


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Gaucher Disease Investigators

Edward Ginns, MD, PhD

Edward Ginns, MD, PhD

Director of the Lysosomal Diagnosis Treatment and Research Center, Professor of Neurology and Psychiatry, Medical Director, Molecular Diagnostics Laboratory


Gary Ostroff, PhD

Gary Ostroff, PhD

Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine


Clinical Trials

At the Li Weibo Institute for Rare Diseases Research, our researchers and clinicians are dedicated to finding new treatment options for patients. Our clinical trials program is another way we continue to advance treatments and make new discoveries. If you or someone you know may be interested in a clinical trial, please subscribe for updates and you will be notified when we open up a new trial.


Research That Gives Hope