Rizzo Lab

Stacey J. Sukoff Rizzo, PhD
Associate Professor of Neurobiology

The Rizzo Lab uses preclinical model systems and translational approaches towards identifying disease and symptom-modifying therapeutics for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD).

Rizzo Lab

Lab Focus

Research in Dr. Rizzo’s lab focuses on investigating the genetic contributions underlying the pathophysiology of diseases of aging including Alzheimer’s Disease, neurodegenerative disorders, and related neuropsychiatric and cognitive co-morbidities, in order to interrogate novel pathways and targets that may enable the identification of new therapeutic agents.

What question I’d like to answer

Can we create more relevant translational models for Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) and use them to identify disease-modifying therapeutics for humans with AD?
Faculty Bio

Stacey is a behavior pharmacologist by training and holds a BS in Animal Sciences from Rutgers University and a PhD in Neuroscience from University College London. She is an internationally recognized expert in behavioral phenotyping and pharmacology of genetic mouse models. Stacey previously spent 18 years in the pharmaceutical industry in Neuroscience Drug Discovery departments at Wyeth Research, Merck Research Laboratories, Aventis Pharmaceuticals, and Pfizer where she led and contributed to many drug discovery projects across therapeutic areas. Prior to her current appointment, from 2014-2019, Stacey served as Director of Mouse Neurobehavioral Phenotyping at The Jackson Laboratory’s Institute for Mammalian Genetics (JAX) and Associate Director of JAX’s Center for Biometric Analysis. Stacey’s lab is a critical component of the NIA funded Model Organism Development for Late Onset Alzheimer’s disease (MODEL-AD) consortium where she co-heads the Preclinical Testing Core which evaluates the potential therapeutic efficacy of novel test compounds for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease (www.MODEL-AD.org).

Read more: Department of Neurobiology Faculty Profile

Selected Publications

Oblak AL, Forner S, Territo PR, Sasner M, Carter GW, Howell GR, Sukoff-Rizzo SJ, Logsdon BA, Mangravite LM, Mortazavi A, Baglietto-Vargas D, Green KN, MacGregor GR, Wood MA, Tenner AJ, LaFerla FM, Lamb BT; and The MODEL‐AD; Consortium. Model organism development and evaluation for late-onset Alzheimer’s disease: MODEL-AD. Alzheimers Dement (N Y). 2020 Nov 23;6(1):e12110. doi: 10.1002/trc2.12110. PMID: 33283040; PMCID: PMC7683958.

Murai T, Sukoff Rizzo SJ. The Importance of Complementary Collaboration of Researchers, Veterinarians, and Husbandry Staff in the Successful Training of Marmoset Behavioral Assays. ILAR J. 2021 Jan 27:ilaa024. doi: 10.1093/ilar/ilaa024. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33501501.

Sukoff Rizzo SJ, Anderson LC, Green TL, McGarr T, Wells G, Winter SS. Assessing Healthspan and Lifespan Measures in Aging Mice: Optimization of Testing Protocols, Replicability, and Rater Reliability. Curr Protoc Mouse Biol. 2018 Jun;8(2):e45. doi: 10.1002/cpmo.45. PMID: 29924918.

Onos KD, Uyar A, Keezer KJ, Jackson HM, Preuss C, Acklin CJ, O’Rourke R, Buchanan R, Cossette TL, Sukoff Rizzo SJ, Soto I, Carter GW, Howell GR. Enhancing face validity of mouse models of Alzheimer’s disease with natural genetic variation. PLoS Genet. 2019 May 31;15(5):e1008155. doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1008155. PMID: 31150388; PMCID: PMC6576791.

Sukoff Rizzo SJ, Crawley JN. Behavioral Phenotyping Assays for Genetic Mouse Models of Neurodevelopmental, Neurodegenerative, and Psychiatric Disorders. Annu Rev Anim Biosci. 2017 Feb 8;5:371-389. doi: 10.1146/annurev-animal-022516-022754. PMID: 28199172.

Current Lab Members
Lauren Bailey, Postdoctoral Scholar
Suzanne Doolen, PhD, Scientific Project Manager for TREAT-AD
Jason Hart, BA, Laboratory Research Technician
Katy Haynes, PhD, Scientific Project Manager for MODEL-AD Preclinical Testing Core
Nicholas Heaton, BS, Laboratory Research Technician
Hasi Huhe, PhD, Research Scientist
Lauren Mongeau, BA, Research Specialist
Takeshi Murai, PhD, Research Scientist
Umesh Nepali, Behavioral Neuroscience Research Specialist
Aman Reddy, BS, Laboratory Research Technician
Diogo Santos, PhD, Postdoctoral Associate
Laura Schultz, NHP Behavioral Manager
Haochen Shi, Laboratory Research Technician
Sean-Paul Williams, Rizzo Lab Manager and Co-Manager of Preclinical Phenotyping Core
Jenny Willis, Research Staff
Research Support