Date of Award

Spring 2023

Document Type





College of Natural and Health Sciences

Primary Advisor

Dr. Aimee Franklin


Parkinson’s Disease (PD) is a devastating neurodegenerative disease (ND) that is believed to impact around 1 million Americans, from both reported and nonreported cases. It is characterized by impaired motor and cognitive functioning resulting from a host of proposed causes, including the loss of dopaminergic neurons in the substantia nigra and the more debated aggregation of proteins. The role of proteins in PD is the focus of the following proposed research, which aims to evaluate the link between O-GlcNAcylation and the phosphorylation states of protein in NDs. This link has been investigated in other NDs such as Alzheimer’s as well as in PD with the protein alpha-synuclein. The relationship observed a possible protective effect of O-GlcNAcylation, which will be evaluated in this research with PD and the protein parkin. By increasing global levels of O-GlcNAcylation, the phosphorylation state and activity of parkin will be evaluated in order to understand the effect of O-GlcNAc on this protein and shed light on possible therapeutic treatments for PD.