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Dr. Cohen on Radio in Vivo!

April 15, 2018

Dr. Cohen has been in the news a lot lately!  Here’s him on another radio show, called Radio in Vivo!  A great way to learn about Dr. Cohen’s inspiration and drive to enter Alzheimer’s disease research.  Click the picture or here to check it out.


Dr. Todd Cohen in a Podcast!

March 16, 2018

Dr. Todd Cohen was featured in “The News and Notes Podcast” by Jeffrey C. McAndrew, where they discussed new, promising discoveries in ALS and what a typical day is like in the Cohen Lab at UNC Chapel Hill.

Press play to listen in on the conversation!

Or click here for the full podcast webpage



Inspiring Stories in Inclusion Body Myositis (sIBM)

March 16, 2018

Dr. Todd Cohen and the efforts of the Cohen Lab were mentioned in the Oshkosh Herald!  The story below features the efforts of Gary Beyer, a patient with sporadic Inclusion Body Myositis (sIBM), a muscle weakening disease that is similar in molecular origin to Amyotropic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).

The article also mentions a Podcast Conversation with Dr. Todd Cohen on similar subjects

To read the full story, click the pdf link below!


Click here to download- Oshkosh Newsletter page 3

Hanna Awarded an NSF Fellowship! UNC Biochemistry and Biophysics Spotlight

December 20, 2017
Hanna was one of two Biochemistry and Biophysics students to be awarded the National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellowship!  An excerpt from the full article on the UNC School of Medicine website can be found below:

Two biochemistry and biophysics grad students awarded NSF Fellowships

Congratulations to Candice Crilly and Hanna Trzeciakiewicz for receiving Predoctoral Fellowships from the National Science Foundation!

Two biochemistry and biophysics grad students awarded NSF Fellowships
click to enlarge(left to right) Hanna Trzeciakiewicz and Candice Crilly

The National Science Foundation predoctoral fellowships are designed to help ensure the vitality of the human resource base of science and engineering in the United States and reinforces its diversity.  The program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited US institutions.

Tau in Alzheimer’s Disease

June 22, 2017

Tau-mediated neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease

 Tau acetylation causes increased tau aggregation in vitro and promotes the formation of tau tangles observed in AD brain (Cohen et al., Nat Commun, 2011).

Read More →

Our Research Mission

June 22, 2017

Our Research Mission in Todd Cohen’s Lab at UNC Chapel Hill

One-liner: To identify the pathogenic mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative disease. 

 AD vs control

More specifically: 

Although distinct, many of these diseases share common underlying pathogenic mechanisms.  We seek to uncover the molecular pathways that promote protein aggregation and the formation of amyloid deposits that cause neurodegeneration and cognitive impairments.

Using a combination of biochemistry, genetics, and cell biology, we have identified several post-translational mechanisms including lysine acetylation, phosphorylation, and cysteine disulfide modifications that critically regulate many disease-associated proteins in the brain including the tau protein in AD and the TDP-43 protein present in ALS and FTLD patients.  We have pioneered the concept that lysine acetylation, in particular, is an unanticipated, yet critical modification that promotes the evolution and maturation of pathological aggregates in a spectrum of neurodegenerative diseases.

This raises the intriguing possibility of modification-targeted therapeutics to combat normal ageing mechanisms and a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases. Ultimately, by uncovering the mechanistic details that regulate normal and aberrant protein functions in the diseased brain, can we begin to uncover the molecular platform for future drug-based therapies against these debilitating diseases.

We utilize a multidisciplinary approach from the “bottom-up”, starting at the protein level and progressing towards more relevant models to answer fundamental questions about protein function and aggregation in neurodegenerative disease.
Approach summary


Although clinically and pathologically distinct, the disorders shown below share a common underlying pathogenic mechanism in which normally soluble proteins become abnormally sequestered into protein aggregates that can exert toxic loss and gain of functions in a tissue-specific manner.



Current research projects:   


    1) Tau-mediated neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease

 Tau acetylation causes increased tau aggregation in vitro and promotes the formation of tau tangles observed in AD brain (Cohen et al., Nat Commun, 2011).

Read More →

Celebrating Publications!

June 9, 2017



The Cohen Lab recently celebrated the submission of two new publications:


A Dual Pathogenic Mechanism Links Tau Acetylation to Sporadic Tauopathy in Scientific Reports

Trzeciakiewicz H, Tseng JH, Wander CM, Madden V, Tripathy A, Yuan CX, Cohen TJ.




Acetylation-induced TDP-43 pathology is suppressed by an HSF1-dependent chaperone program in Nature Communications (Come back soon or contact us for a link!)

Ping Wang, Connor Wander, Chao-Xing Yuan, Michael Bereman, and Todd Cohen


With many more to come!

Celebrating publications is a tradition in the scientific community.  In Todd Cohen’s words, “Research isn’t all that gratifying.  You work for years in the lab about something nobody knows about and finally submit a paper… months later it hopefully gets accepted.  You have to take the opportunity to celebrate”. (Or he said something similar).

There are no upcoming events at this time.



Welcome to The Todd Cohen Lab at UNC Chapel Hill Website

June 1, 2016

Welcome to the new website for Todd Cohen’s Lab at UNC Chapel Hill!  We will be incrementally moving our online presence to this web address. You can find our old googlesites website here.

This is the digital home for Todd Cohen’s lab in the Department of Neurology at UNC Chapel Hill, not to be confused with Jessica Cohen’s Lab from Psychology and Neuroscience!


Learn more about the research being done in the Todd Cohen Lab at UNC Chapel Hill here.


This website will provide us with a unique platform for discussion and public interaction.  The forum section of the website is under construction, but check back soon!  Any burning questions for Todd Cohen’s Lab at UNC can be asked here.



Stay tuned for more updates!  Any feedback is appreciated as well!  Leave a comment below and tell us what you think.