Director’s Message

Doctor Laura Ranum in her lab
Dr. Laura Ranum, Director of Center for NeuroGenetics, College of Medicine

Welcome to the University of Florida College of Medicine Center for NeuroGenetics. Our mission is to use molecular, genetic, and clinical approaches to define the causes of neurodegenerative disease and develop effective treatment strategies. More than 50 relentlessly progressive, fatal neurologic diseases are caused by DNA repeat expansion mutations and the Center for NeuroGenetics (CNG) has established an international reputation for interdisciplinary research on these disorders.

Pioneering discoveries by our faculty have shown that repeat expansions make unexpected toxic proteins without the canonical start signals (Dr. Ranum) and that RNAs containing repeat expansion mutations are toxic (Dr. Swanson). Ongoing efforts focus on understanding new paradigms for how repeat expansions influence RNA splicing and localization (Dr. Wang) and mechanistic insights into how ribosomes produce proteins (Dr. Fujii). Our team of researchers, who are focused on understanding the detailed mechanisms of these diseases, collaborate with an extensive network of clinical scientist and clinicians to learn from patients and to translate our work back to the clinic. Additionally, our team has forged strong collaborations with investigators throughout the world ensuring that we are able to quickly adapt, leverage new technologies and pursue exciting new directions that our science often takes us.

The CNG provides a highly interactive training environment for Postdocs and Graduate Students, many who have gone on to highly competitive positions academia and industry. We are always looking for outstanding scientists at all levels of training and if you are interested in joining our team, please contact us. If you are a patient or a family member looking for more information about our research and ongoing clinical trials, we have provided links to additional resources and information on many of the diseases we are focused on. We also highlight ways that you can get involved by participating in one of our research studies or providing financial support for our research.

A member of a family affected by ALS, I know firsthand that new treatments for these devastating diseases are urgently needed.  As a scientist, I am excited about our Center and the opportunities it provides to accelerate interdisciplinary research that bring together doctors, researchers, and patients to better understand the root causes of these diseases and develop therapies. I welcome you to learn more and join us in our fight against neurodegenerative disease. 


Laura Ranum, Ph.D.
Director of the Center for NeuroGenetics