Eisele Lab

Yvonne S. Eisele, PhD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Division of Cardiology

We study protein aggregation and delineate structure-toxicity relationships in diseases like Alzheimer’s disease and cardiac amyloidosis.

Eisele Lab

Lab Focus

Proteins are complex molecules that play many critical roles in the body. Key to proper protein function is proper protein folding. The inability to maintain a properly folded, fully functional proteome is one of the hallmarks of aging, and causes diseases like Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, transthyretin-related amyloidosis and other so called proteinopathies. Interestingly, the proteins that misfold and form characteristic amyloid deposits are different in each of these diseases. The Eisele laboratory uses a wide range of biochemical, molecular, and cell biological methods to characterize the misfolding process and to decipher the cytotoxic properties of protein aggregates. We think that small protein aggregates, so called oligomers are particularly cytotoxic and exert their toxicity through specific cellular pathways. Our goal is to delineate these pathways, and to identify novel biomarkers and therapeutic targets for these diseases. The Eisele laboratory collaborates closely with the clinical team and is dedicated to translating basic research findings into benefits for patients.

What question I’d like to answer

How can we prevent tissue degeneration in amyloid diseases?
Faculty Bio

Yvonne received her undergraduate degree in Biology at the Carl von Ossietzky University in Oldenburg, Germany. She earned a PhD in Cellular and Molecular Neurobiology from the University of Tuebingen working in the laboratory of Dr. Mathias Jucker where she made seminal discoveries on prion-like aggregation of Abeta peptides in vivo that is now recognized as an important mechanism in Alzheimer’s disease. In 2013, she joined Dr. Jeffery Kelly’s laboratory at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego, CA as a postdoc and focused on delineating the oligomer hypothesis of neurodegeneration in transthyretin-related amyloidosis. She has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Scholarship Award by the German National Academic Foundation (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes), the Young Investigator Award from the Association of German Alzheimer’s Disease Researchers and Physicians, a stipend from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and a NIA K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award. Yvonne is a member of SfN (Society for Neuroscience), AHA (American Heart Association), ISTAART (International Society to Advance Alzheimer’s Research and Treatment), and serves as reviewer for various journals and funding agencies.

In 2018, Yvonne joined the University of Pittsburgh as an Assistant Professor of Medicine where her lab focuses on molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer’s disease and cardiac amyloidosis. Her passion is mentoring students and trainees in cutting edge research in a highly collaborative and supportive environment and advancing our understanding of these diseases.

Read more: Department of Medicine Faculty Profile

Selected Publications

Masri A, Bukhari S, Eisele YS, Soman P. Molecular Imaging of Cardiac Amyloidosis. J Nucl Med. 2020 Jul;61(7):965-970. doi: 10.2967/jnumed.120.245381. Epub 2020 Jun 1. PMID: 32482792.

Eisele YS, Monteiro C, Fearns C, Encalada SE, Wiseman RL, Powers ET, Kelly JW. Targeting protein aggregation for the treatment of degenerative diseases. Nat Rev Drug Discov. 2015 Nov;14(11):759-80. doi: 10.1038/nrd4593. Epub 2015 Sep 4. PMID: 26338154; PMCID: PMC4628595.

Eisele YS, Obermüller U, Heilbronner G, Baumann F, Kaeser SA, Wolburg H, Walker LC, Staufenbiel M, Heikenwalder M, Jucker M. Peripherally applied Abeta-containing inoculates induce cerebral beta-amyloidosis. Science. 2010 Nov 12;330(6006):980-2. doi: 10.1126/science.1194516. Epub 2010 Oct 21. PMID: 20966215; PMCID: PMC3233904.

Eisele YS, Bolmont T, Heikenwalder M, Langer F, Jacobson LH, Yan ZX, Roth K, Aguzzi A, Staufenbiel M, Walker LC, Jucker M. Induction of cerebral beta-amyloidosis: intracerebral versus systemic Abeta inoculation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2009 Aug 4;106(31):12926-31. doi: 10.1073/pnas.0903200106. Epub 2009 Jul 21. PMID: 19622727; PMCID: PMC2722323.

Eisele YS, Duyckaerts C. Propagation of Aß pathology: hypotheses, discoveries, and yet unresolved questions from experimental and human brain studies. Acta Neuropathol. 2016 Jan;131(1):5-25. doi: 10.1007/s00401-015-1516-y. Epub 2015 Dec 29. PMID: 26715565.

Current Lab Members

Danielle Moss, Research Technician
Kamron Woods, Honors Student
Julia Wiegers, Undergraduate Student Researcher

Research Support