Christopher D. Link

Institute for Behavioral Genetics; Department of Integrative Physiology; Member of the Center for Neuroscience

Institute for Behavioral Genetics, Campus Box 447
Research Lab 4, Rm 33
University of Colorado at Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0447

Phone: 303-735-5112
FAX: 303-492-8063

Dr. Link’s background is originally in molecular genetics and developmental biology, and his lab initially began using the invertebrate worm Caenorhabditis elegans for classic developmental genetic studies. In 1992, Dr. Link’s group initiated a new series of experiments by transgenically engineering C. elegans to express the human beta amyloid peptide, which is centrally involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In this model, the beta amyloid peptide accumulates intracellularly, forms amyloid, and results in cellular pathology. The goal of his studies is to understand the molecular and cellular basis of this toxicity, and to investigate how these processes might be involved in Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Link takes advantage of experimental tools available in C. elegans, such as forward genetic screens, microarray-based gene expression studies, and dsRNA-based gene inhibition, to help identify specific genes involved in beta amyloid toxicity.

Dr. Link is currently expanding his studies to generate additional transgenic models for other neurodegenerative diseases, including Huntington's and ALS. There is increasing evidence that different neurodegenerative diseases may have common underlying mechanisms, which he hopes to address by comparative transgenic modeling in C. elegans.

Selected Publications:

Fonte V., Dostal V., Roberts C.M., Gonzales P., Lacor P., Magrane J., Dingwell N., Fan E.Y., Silverman M.A., Stein G.H., Link C.D. (2011) A glycine zipper motif mediates the formation of toxic ?-amyloid oligomers in vitro and in vivo. Mol Neurodegener. 2011 Aug 23;6(1):61.

Ash, P.E., Zhang, Y.J., Roberts, C.M., Saldi, T., Hutter, H., Buratti, E., Petrucelli, L., Link, C.D. (2010). Neurotoxic effects of TDP-43 overexpression in C. elegans. Hum Mol Genet. 2010 Aug 15;19(16):3206-18.

Dostal, V., Roberts, C.M., Link, C.D. (2010) Genetic Mechanisms of Coffee Extract Protection in a Caenorhabditis elegans Model of ?-amyloid Peptide Toxicity. Genetics Nov;186(3):857-66.