Brigham and Women’s Hospital | Harvard Medical School

The Shen Laboratory focuses on elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. We take a multidisciplinary approach to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying pathologic degeneration of specific neuronal populations in the adult central nervous system. Through the generation and analysis of a variety of mouse models that carry mutations in the disease genes, we identified a number of early functional impairments that may trigger the pathogenic cascade leading to neurodegeneration. The Shen Laboratory was home to the BWH Morris K. Udall Center of Excellence for Parkinson’s disease from 2015 to 2020.

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Elucidating the pathogenic mechanisms of Neurodegeneration


Recent Publications

APP family regulates neuronal excitability and synaptic plasticity but not neuronal survival.

Lee SH, Kang J, Ho A, Watanabe H, Bolshakov VY, Shen J. Neuron 2020, 108:676-690.

Cell-autonomous role of presenilin in age-dependent survival of cortical interneurons.

Kang J, Shen, J. Molecular Neurodegeneration 2020, 15(72)

Motor impairments and dopaminergic defects caused by loss of LRRK function in mice.

Huang G, Bloodgood DW, Kang J, Shahapal A, Chen P, Kaganovsky K, Kim J-I, Ding JB, Shen J. The Journal of Neuroscience 2020, 42(23):4755-4765.

About jie Shen

Dr Jie Shen is a Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School. Her research is focused on the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Her genetic studies led to the proposal of the Presenilin Hypothesis, which posits that loss of presenilin function underlies neurodegeneration and dementia in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease. She also revealed that presynaptic defects in neurotransmitter release might underlie age-related neurodegeneration in these disorders.


Postdoctoral Fellow position available to study the molecular and cellular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Recent PhDs with strong background in molecular genetics, electrophysiology and biochemistry are encouraged to apply. Send CV to Jie Shen at