Spinocerebellar Ataxias (SCAs)

The spinocerebellar ataxias (SCAs) are a large group of hereditary diseases associated with loss of coordination and fine motor skills. This family of diseases is characterized by degeneration in the part of the brain that controls the coordination of movement (cerebellum). People affected by Ataxia may experience problems with using their fingers and hands, arms and legs, and with walking, speaking or moving their eyes. Ataxia affects people of all ages. Age of symptom-onset can vary widely, from childhood to late-adulthood.

SCA diseases are classified on the inheritance pattern of the disease and if known, the disease-causing mutation. Many forms of ataxia are caused by repeat expansion mutations in an underlying gene. There are many different genetic types of SCAs (over 50 and still growing).

Our Research on SCAs

Our research on SCA involves identifying and understanding the disease mechanism(s) that cause these diseases, including the growing number that show accumulation of toxic RAN proteins. As the genetic mutation that causes the disease is often unknown to the patient, we seek to identify the type of ataxia through clinical, pathology and molecular analyses. We are also pursuing therapeutic strategies that may be used across a large number of SCAs.

Get Involved with Research

If you would like information about any of the opportunities listed below, please contact Deborah Morrison.

NOW RECRUITING

Clinical Trials and Studies

We are currently recruiting for a variety of trials and studies. Click the link below to learn more about our work and to see if you’re eligible.

unidentifiable female researcher at a bench in the lab

ONGOING RECRUITING

Banking Study

Patients with neurodegenerative diseases being treated at the Fixel Institute may participate in these ongoing studies. The goal is to collect biospecimens to study in the lab.

Hand shows the brain in the sun and sky.

ONGOING RECRUITMENT

Work in a Lab

Are you a passionate student or post-doc looking making to an impact on Neurogenetic research at the University of Florida? Candidates are encouraged to contact individual CNG faculty members to inquire about research opportunities in the CNG.

three women working side-by-side in the lab

SCA Researchers at the CNG

Laura P W Ranum
Department: Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Laura P W Ranum

Kitzman Family Professor Of Molecular Genetics And Microbiology; Director Center For NeuroGenetics
Phone: (352) 294-5209
Tao Zu
Department: Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Tao Zu

Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 273-5847
Monica Banez Coronel
Department: Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

Monica Banez Coronel

Research Assistant Professor
Phone: (352) 294-8966
John D Cleary
Department: Molecular Genetics & Microbiology

John D Cleary

Assistant Scientist
Phone: (352) 273-5847
James Wymer
Department: MD-NEUROMUSCULAR NEUROLOGY

James Wymer MD, FAAN

Professor
Phone: (352) 273-5550
Emily K Plowman
Department: HP-SLP LANG & HEARING SCI

Emily K Plowman

Professor, Doctoral Program Director
Phone: (352) 273-8632

SCA Clinical Care and Research Faculty

Sub Subramony
Department: MD-NEUROMUSCULAR NEUROLOGY

Sub Subramony M.D.

Professor
Phone: (352) 273-5000
Matthew R Burns
Department: MD-NEUROLOGY-MOVEMENT DISORDER

Matthew R Burns MD, PhD

Assistant Professor Of Neurology
Phone: (352) 294-5000