Dr. Ivanova is a Research Assistant Professor, Department of Neurology, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Program of Biophysics, and a faculty of the Neuroscience Graduate Program at the University of Michigan.

The main focus of the Ivanova lab is to study protein aggregation diseases, which include amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), frontotemporal dementia (FTD), Alzheimer's (AD) and Parkinson's (PD). These diseases are linked to abnormal accumulation of proteins which had lost their normal/functional folds. These abnormally folded proteins can self-associate and recruit other proteins, thus changing the cellular homeostasis. Careful analysis of the abnormal accumulations reveals that the proteins forming them adopt beta-sheet fold and are organized into a long fibrillary structures. Such assemblies are commonly known as amyloid fibrils and are exceptionally resistant to degradation and disassembly. Currently we are interested in identifying the forces that drive the protein conversion into the abnormal fold and its contribution to neurodegeneration and cellular death. Such studies can be directly applied to discover and design molecules that efficiently delay, and even prevent the abnormal accumulation of proteins.

We use a combination of structural and cellular methods tied to specific clinical applications. Projects currently underway are focused on alpha-synuclein, ubiquilin2, tau and C9orf72 products, proteins that deposit in PD, ALS, FTD, and AD.