Assistant Research Professor, ASU-Banner Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center
Dr. Dunckley obtained his undergraduate degree in molecular and cellular biology and biochemistry from the University of Arizona. His doctoral work was completed at the University of Arizona in the field of molecular and cellular biology. Prior to joining TGen, he studied gene expression at the level of mRNA stability. In 2000, Dr. Dunckley expanded his training to the field of Neurobiology during a fellowship position at Barrow Neurological Institute where he studied structure/function interactions in nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChR) and identified novel genes regulated by nAChR activity. In 2003 he transitioned to the Neurogenomics division at TGen to leverage the rapidly developing genomics field for the identification of relevant therapeutic targets and biomarkers for Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. He has developed efficient single cell isolation and transcriptome profiling methods, high-throughput functional assays directly applicable to relevant phenotypic endpoints in neurodegenerative diseases – including α-synuclein accumulation and tau hyperphosphorylation, and he has performed large scale association studies to identify DNA variants underlying neurodegenerative disease. Dr. Dunckley has recently moved to the Neurodegenerative Disease Research Center at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University where ongoing work involves the role of epigenetics as a potentially modifiable factor contributing to neurodegeneration and the development of novel small molecule inhibitors of the DYRK1A kinase for potential therapeutic applications in Alzheimer’s disease and Down syndrome.