Nicole Liachko, PhD

Nicole F. Liachko, PhD, is an Investigator in the Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center (GRECC) at the VA Puget Sound Health Care System (VA PSHCS), and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Division of Gerontology and Geriatric Medicine at the University of Washington. She received her PhD in Genetics from Cornell University in 2009, and completed her postdoctoral training at the VA PSHCS in 2014. Dr. Liachko’s research program centers on understanding the biology underlying neurodegenerative diseases of aging, with a focus on TDP-43 and/or tau proteinopathies such as ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and Alzheimer’s disease. Her research has identified kinase and phosphatase regulation of TDP-43 phosphorylation in ALS and FTLD, and shown that reduced kinase or increased phosphatase activities are neuroprotective. She has also found that tau and TDP-43 synergize resulting in worsened neurotoxicity and neurodegeneration in models of Alzheimer’s disease. Her lab is actively investigating the cellular mechanisms controlling this process using a variety of genetic, biochemical, transcriptomic, and imaging paradigms. Her long-term continuing goal is to leverage a deeper understanding of disease biology towards developing new therapeutic targets and interventions for neurodegenerative proteinopathies including Alzheimer’s disease.