Anne Messer, Ph.D.

Anne Messer received her Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Oregon, Institute of Molecular Biology, studying the genetics of membrane permeation in E. coli.  She made the transition to neurogenetics as a Helen Hay Whitney postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Richard Sidman, Harvard Medical School. Although her major project was with cerebellar development mutants of mice, there was also an active program in retinal disease mutants, with many parallels and interests. During her tenure as an independent neurogenetics research scientist at the Wadsworth Center of the NY State Department of Health, she directed the Molecular Genetics Program and the Laboratory of Human Genetics. Thereafter, she joined the University at Albany as a professor of Biomedical Sciences,  and became the founding chair of the neuroscience track. Dr. Messer has published over 100 papers on genetics, mechanisms, therapeutics for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases, including papers in Nature, Nature Genetics, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Molecular Therapy, and major neuroscience journals. She has been funded by multiple NIH grants and several foundations while reviewing grants for over 25 NIH study sections, and 12 national and international funding agencies. In the late 1990s, she pioneered the use of engineered antibody fragments (nanobodies and intrabodies) to counteract the cellular effects of misfolded proteins in stressed and aging cells. Since then, she has amassed a body of publications applying this technology to Huntington’s and Parkinson’s disease, ranging from antibody engineering and nanobody selection to in vivo delivery by novel gene therapies. There are many commonalities between the neurodegenerative diseases that have been her primary focus and the breakdown of cellular function in Age-related Macular Degeneration. Dr. Messer recently moved her most relevant technology and extensive expertise to NSCI, to bring this powerful approach to the exciting stem cell work being done by her long-term colleagues, Drs. Sally Temple and Jeff Stern.

Selected Publications:

1. Lecerf, J.M., T.L. Shirley, Q. Zhu, A. Kazantsev, P. Amersdorfer, D.E. Housman, A. Messer and J.S. Huston (2001) Human single- chain Fv intrabodies counteract in situ huntingtin aggregation in cellular models of Huntington’s Disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 98, 4764-4769. PMCID: PMC31908

2. Butler, D.C, and Messer, A., (2011) Bifunctional anti-huntingtin proteasome-directed intrabodies mediate efficient degradation of mutant huntingtin exon 1 protein fragments. PLoS One. 2011;6(12):e29199. Epub 2011 Dec 22.

3. Joshi, SN, David C. Butler retargeting sequence increases soluble cytoplasmic expression and efficacy of diverse anti-synuclein intrabodies. mAbs, 2012: Aug 28;4(6). [Epub ahead of print]PMID:22929188

4.Messer A, Joshi SN, Intrabodies as Neuroprotective Therapeutics. Neurotherapeutics. 2013 May 7. [Epub ahead of print] PMID: 23649691, DC, Messer, A., Fusion to a highly charged proteasomal