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Faculty Detail    
Co-Director, Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics
John A. and Ruth R. Jurenko Professor of Neurology
Associate Professor of Neurology and Neurobiology
Campus Address CIRC 552 Zip 0021
Phone 205-996-7697
Other websites West laboratory

Faculty Appointment(s)
Appointment Type Department Division Rank
Primary  Neurology   Neurology Chair Office Associate Professor
Secondary  Neurobiology  Neurobiology Assistant Professor
Center  Neurology   Alzheimer's Disease Center Associate Professor
Center  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging  Comprehensive Ctr for Healthy Aging Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Comprehensive Neuroscience Center Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Ctr for Clinical & Translational Sci Associate Professor
Center  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med  Ctr for Glial Bio in Med Associate Professor
Center  Neurology   Ctr Neurodegeneration & Exp Ther (CNET) Associate Professor
Center  General Clinical Research Center  Nephrology Research & Training Center Associate Professor

Graduate Biomedical Sciences Affiliations
Cell, Molecular, & Developmental Biology 
Cellular and Molecular Biology Program 
Genetics and Genomic Sciences 
Medical Scientist Training Program 

Biographical Sketch 
Andrew West, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Neurology and holds the John A. and Ruth R. Jurenko Endowed Professorship in Neurology. Dr. West received his undergraduate degree from Alma College and his PhD in Molecular Neuroscience from the Mayo Clinic School of Medicine in Rochester, MN. He then went on to complete a Postdoctoral Fellowship at UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute in Los Angeles in the laboratory of Nigel Maidment and a second postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Ted Dawson at Johns Hopkins, followed by an Instructor faculty position in the Department of Neurology at Johns Hopkins.

Work from the students of the West laboratory frequently appears in national news:

Society Memberships
Organization Name Position Held Org Link
Society for Neuroscience     

Research/Clinical Interest
Genetic and biochemical mechanisms in neurological disorders
Our primary goal is to utilize emerging genetic and genomic approaches to help understand the molecular basis of neurological disorders and develop targeted therapeutic strategies. The laboratory has a major focus on the new and exciting molecule recently discovered as a major cause of familial Parkinson's disease, the LRRK2 protein kinase. We have developed innovative biochemical approaches over the last few years that demonstrate that this kinase may be overactive in Parkinson's disease, and therapeutic approaches to knockdown this activity may provide neuroprotective benefit to Parkinson's disease patients. We are vested in all aspects of pursuing this protein as a drug target, including biomarker assays, antibody and transgenic animal development, and discovery of specific compounds that modify LRRK2 activity together with our collaborators in the pharmaceutical industry. An emerging area of interest in the laboratory is to help contribute to the understanding of autism and identification of new genetic-based models and therapeutic strategies. Our laboratory has assembled together one of the largest collections of post-mortem brain material and is analyzing this material using state of the art genetic approaches including RNAseq and whole genome resequencing, together with collaborators. In addition, we are developing new mouse models of autism based on our discoveries in the pathological tissue.

Positions Available
Date Posted Position Title
1/6/2015  Post-doctoral position in Parkinson Research 
The University of Alabama at Birmingham Center for Neurodegeneration and Experimental Therapeutics (CNET) is recruiting postdoctoral fellows with interests in translational science, neurodegeneration, and Parkinson’s disease. Applicants should have recently received a PhD degree in neuroscience, biochemistry or a related field. Preferred candidates will have experience with cell culture, animal models, immunohistochemistry and biochemistry. The research project will focus on how genes implicated in Parkinson’s disease, such as a-synuclein and LRRK2, contribute to the development and spread of pathology and neuron toxicity.

The CNET provides a highly collaborative and exciting work environment. The University of Alabama at Birmingham is the number 1 university nationwide in “Best Places to Work for Postdocs,” according to the 2013 Postdocs rankings.

Applicants should submit a CV and a cover letter describing their experience and research interests to Andrew West,   

Selected Publications 
Publication PUBMEDID
West Lab Publications
2010 to Present

• Aasly JO, Vilariño-Güell C, Dachsel JC, Webber PJ, West AB, Haugarvoll K, Johansen KK, Toft M, Nutt JG, Payami H, Kachergus JM, Lincoln SJ, Felic A, Wider C, Soto-Ortolaza AI, Cobb SA, White LR, Ross OA, Farrer MJ. “Novel pathogenic LRRK2 p.Asn1437His substitution in familial Parkinson's disease.” Mov Disord. 2010 Jul 28
• Lee BD, Shin JH, Vankampen J, Petrucelli L, West AB, Ko HS, Lee YI, Maguire-Zeiss KA, Bowers WJ, Federoff HJ, Dawson VL, Dawson TM. “Inhibitors of leucine-rich repeat kinase-2 protect against models of Parkinson's disease.” Nat Med. 2010 Aug 22
• Pungaliya PP, Bai Y, Lipinski K, Anand VS, Sen S, Brown EL, Bates B, Reinhart PH, West AB, Hirst WD, Braithwaite SP. “Identification and characterization of a leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) consensus phosphorylation motif.” PLoS One. 2010 Oct 27;5(10):e13672.
• Looyenga, B., Furge, K, Dykema, K, Koeman, J, West, AB., Teh, B, Resau, J., Giordano, T., MacKeigan, J. "Chromosomal Amplification of LRRK2 is Required for Oncogenic MET Signaling in Papillary Renal and Thyroid Carcinomas." Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 2011 Jan 25;108(4):1439-44
• Andrabi SA, Kang HC, Haince JF, Lee YI, Zhang J, Chi Z, West AB, Koehler RC, Poirier GG, Dawson TM, Dawson VL. “Iduna protects the brain from glutamate excitotoxicity and stroke by interfering with poly(ADP-ribose) polymer-induced cell death.” Nat Med. 2011 May 22
• Webber PJ, Smith AD, Sen S, Renfrow MB, Mobley JA, West AB. “Autophosphorylation in the Leucine-Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) GTPase Domain Modifies Kinase and GTP-Binding Activities.” J Mol Biol. 2011 Jul 22
• Moehle MS, Webber PJ, Tse T, Sukar N, Standaert DG, DeSilva TM, Cowell RM, West AB. “LRRK2 Inhibition Attenuates Microglial Inflammatory Responses” J Neurosci. 2012 Feb 1;32(5):1602-11.
• Stafa, K, Trancikova, A., Webber, PJ, Glauser, L., West, AB, Moore, DJ. “'GTPase Activity and Neuronal Toxicity of Parkinson's Disease-Associated LRRK2 is Regulated by ArfGAP1” PLoS Genet. 2012 Feb;8(2):e1002526. Epub 2012 Feb 9.
• Trancikova A, Mamais A, Webber PJ, Stafa K, Tsika E, Glauser L, West AB, Bandopadhyay R, Moore DJ. “Phosphorylation of 4E-BP1 in the mammalian brain is not altered by LRRK2 expression or pathogenic mutations.” PLoS One. 2012;7(10):e47784
• Davies P, Hinkle KM, Sukar NN, Sepulveda B, Mesias R, Serrano G, Alessi DR, Beach TG, Benson DL, White Iii CL, Cowell RM, Das SS, West AB, Melrose HL. “Comprehensive Characterization and Optimization of Leucine Rich Repeat Kinase 2 (LRRK2) Monoclonal Antibodies.” Biochem J. 2013 Jul 1;453(1):101-13
• Day K, Waite LL, Thalacker-Mercer A, West AB, Bamman MM, Brooks JD, Myers RM, Absher D. “Differential DNA methylation with age displays both common and dynamic features across human tissues that are influenced by CpG landscape.” Genome Biol. 2013 Sep 13;14(9):R102
• Fraser KB, Moehle MS, Daher JP, Webber PJ, Williams JY, Stewart CA, Yacoubian TA, Cowell RM, Dokland T, Ye T, Chen D, Siegal GP, Galemmo RA, Tsika E, Moore DJ, Standaert DG, Kojima K, Mobley JA, West AB.” LRRK2 secretion in exosomes is regulated by 14-3-3.” Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Aug 6. [Epub ahead of print]
• Day K, Waite LL, Thalacker-Mercer A, West AB, Bamman MM, Brooks JD, Myers RM, Absher D. “Differential DNA methylation with age displays both common and dynamic features across human tissues that are influenced by CpG landscape.” Genome Biol. 2013 Sep 13;14(9):R102.
• Sampath, S., Bhat, S., Gupta, S., O'Connor, A., West, AB., Arking, D., Chakravarti, A. “Defining the Contribution of CNTNAP2 to Autism Susceptibility” PLoS One. 2013 Oct 17;8(10):e77906.
• Dougherty,S, Hollimon, J, McMeekin, L, Bohannon, A, West, AB, Lesort, M, Hablitz, J, Cowell, R. “Hyperactivity and Cortical Disinhibition in Mice with Restricted Expression of Mutant Huntingtin to Parvalbumin-Positive Cells” Neurobiol Dis. 2014 Feb;62:160-71.
• Daher JP, Volpicelli-Daley LA, Blackburn JP, Moehle MS, West AB “Abrogation of α-synuclein-mediated dopaminergic neurodegeneration in LRRK2-deficient rats.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Jun 24;111(25):9289-94.
• West AB, Cowell RM, Daher JP, Moehle MS, Hinkle KM, Melrose HL, Standaert DG, Volpicelli-Daley LA. “Differential LRRK2 expression in the cortex, striatum, and substantia nigra in transgenic and nontransgenic rodents.” J Comp Neurol. 2014 Aug 1;522(11):2465-80.
• Ellis SE, Gupta S, Ashar FN, Bader JS, West AB, Arking DE. “RNA-Seq optimization with eQTL gold standards.” BMC Genomics. 2013 Dec 17;14:892.
• Zhiyong Liu, Robert A Galemmo Jr., Kyle B Fraser, Mark S Moehle, Saurabh Sen, Lawrence J DeLucas, Larry J Ross, Jacob Valiyaveettil, Omar Moukha-Chafiq, Hollis Kezar, E. Lucile White, Vandana Gupta, Joseph A Maddry, Mark J Suto, and Andrew B West "Unique Functional and Structural Properties of the LRRK2 ATP-Binding Pocket" J. Biol. Chem., J Biol Chem. 2014 Sep 16.
• Lucas, E., Dougherty, S., McMeekin, L., Reid, C., Dobrunz, L., West, AB, Hablitz, J, Cowell, R. “PGC-1α provides a transcriptional framework for synchronous neurotransmitter release from parvalbumin-positive interneurons” J Neurosci. 2014 Oct 22;34(43):14375-87.
• Moehle, M., West, AB. “M1 and M2 Immune Activation in Parkinson's Disease: Foe and Ally”. Neuroscience. 2014 Nov 25. pii: S0306-4522(14)00975-0.
• West, AB “10 Years and Counting: Moving LRRK2 Inhibitors to the Clinic” Mov Disord. 2014 Dec 1.
• Liu, Z., Mobley, J., DeLucas, L., West, AB. “LRRK2 Autophosphorylation Enhances GTPase Activity” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A Under Review
• Gupta, S., Ellis, S., Ashar, F., Moes, A., Bader, J., Zhan, J., West, AB*., Arking, D* “Transcriptome Analysis Reveals Dysregulation of Innate Immune Response Genes and Neuronal Activity-Dependent Genes in Autism” Nat Commun. 2014 Dec 10;5:5748.
• Volpicelli-Daley, LA, Gamble, KL, Schultheiss, CE, Riddle, DM, West, AB, Lee, VMY. “Formation of α-Synuclein Lewy Neurite-like aggregates in Axons Impedes the Transport of Distinct Endosomes”, Mol Biol Cell. 2014 Dec 15;25(25):4010-23.


Molecular Genetics & Disease; Neurobiology