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Dr. Mark Zabel established his prion research laboratory at CSU ten years ago and is currently tenured Associate Professor and Associate Director of the PRC. He received his PhD in experimental pathology from the University of Utah. Dr. Zabel was awarded the prestigious Human Frontiers in Science Long Term Research Fellowship and received postdoctoral training in prion biology, biochemistry and pathology from the laboratory of Dr. Adriano Aguzzi at the Neuropathology Institute, University Hospital of Zürich. He also received training in immunology in the laboratory of Nobel Prize winner Dr. Rolf Zinkernagel in the Immunology Department, also at the University Hospital of Zürich. The Zabel laboratory employs molecular biological, immunological and biochemical techniques to explore peripheral pathogenesis, therapeutics and vaccines for prion diseases. Studying basic mechanisms of prion infection and dissemination provides translational information leading to diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine targets. Dr. Zabel’s research program focuses on the interaction of prions with cells and receptors of the immune system and lymphoid tissues in the early entry, trafficking, and pathogenesis phases of prion infections. He utilizes novel mouse models of Chronic Wasting Disease that have led to numerous publications detailing translational knowledge about the role of the Complement system in prion replication, disease progression and transmission. Dr. Zabel’s laboratory currently collaborates with researchers from Fort Collins, the Front Range of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Montana, Ohio, Tennessee, Massachusetts, England, Scotland, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. Dr. Zabel received the Univeristy of Utah Molecular Biology and Biochemistry Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010 and is an Academic Editor for PLoS One. Dr. Zabel has also distinguished himself as a meeting organizer and session chair at the Regional Rocky Mountain Prion Research Symposium, Fort Collins (2008), and the International Transmissible Spongiform Encephalopathy workshops in Montreal, Canada (2011) and Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2012). His research is funded through USDA-APHIS and NIH-Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Interaction of prions with cells and receptors of the immune system and lymphoid tissues in the early entry, trafficking, and pathogenesis phases of prion infections