Malú Gámez Tansey

Malú Gámez Tansey

Norman and Susan Fixel Professor of Neuroscience and Neurology, Co-Director Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease and the Parkinson’s Foundation Research Center
Department: Department of Neuroscience
Phone: (352) 294-4096
Mailing Address:
PO BOX 100244
8989 SW 75TH LANE
MCKNIGHT BRAIN INSTITUTE BLDG. LG-152
GAINESVILLE GA 326100244

Maria de Lourdes (Malú) was born in El Paso, Texas and attended Loretto Academy high school. Dr. Tansey obtained her B.S/M.S in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Cell Regulation from UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX followed by post-doctoral work in neurorscience at Washington University Medical School. Prior to setting up her academic research lab in 2002 at UT Southwestern Medical Center in the Department of Physiology, she was head of the Chemical Genetics group at Xencor, a biotechnology company in Monrovia, working on novel TNF inhibitors that she used as tools in academia to investigate the role of neuroinflammation in neurodegenerative disease and which have now advanced to clinical trials in Alzheimer’s disease and COVID19 for cytokine storm.

After becoming a tenured Associate Professor of Physiology at UT Southwestern in 2008, Dr. Tansey was recruited to Emory University in Atlanta, GA by the Department of Physiology where she became a member of the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease (CND) and also served as Senior Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) for the Emory Neuroscience Graduate Program and a member of the Executive Committee of the Emory Immunology and Molecular Pathogenesis (IMP) Graduate Program. While at Emory, she catalyzed multiple initiatives to expand and coalesce neuroinflammation efforts across the medical school and helped establish the Center for Neurodysfunction and Inflammation (CNI) at Emory in 2018. In 2019, she was recruited to the University of Florida to be Director of the Center for Translational Research in Neurodegenerative Disease (CTRND) and the first endowed Norman and Susan Fixel Chair in Neuroscience and Neurology at the University of Florida.

Today, Tansey’s lab employs multi-disciplinary approaches to investigate the role of inflammation and immune system responses in brain health and the development of neurodegenerative diseases with particular focus on the gut-brain axis . Her long-term goal is to train the next generation of scientists who can/and to develop better therapies to prevent and/or delay these disorders.

As a Hispanic American, Dr. Tansey has served as a role model to numerous undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate trainees, many of them women from under-represented groups in STEM. She served as Co-Director of Emory’s R25 Initiative for Maximizing Student Development (IMSD) whose mission is to strengthen institutional efforts to enhance recruitment and retention of diverse student and faculty bodies at Emory, by providing research training and mentoring opportunities to both. Dr. Tansey is a fierce advocate for women and other under-represented groups in STEM and has earned several mentoring awards from students and faculty for her efforts in this area.

In her spare time, Malú enjoys talking to patient and research-advocacy groups, cooking, sailing, and scuba-diving.

Research Summary:

The research interests of our laboratory include investigating the role and regulation of immune and inflammatory mechanisms that protect against or predispose and individual to develop neurodegenerative disorders. Genetic and environmental contributions to lysosomal dysfunction and alterations in lipid signaling that dysregulate neuroimmune activity and trigger neuroinflammation are a main focus of investigation; as is the role of the gut-brain axis and chronic peripheral inflammation in the pathogenesis and progression of neurodegeneration.

Research Interests:
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • FTD
  • Gut Microbiome
  • Microglia
  • Neuroimmune interactions in Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Parkinson’s disease
Publications:
Grants:
  • Apr 2022 ACTIVE
    The role of cannabinoid receptor 2 in the clearance of Tau by microglia
    ALZHEIMERS ASSO · Co-Investigator
  • Nov 2021 ACTIVE
    Role of enteroendocrine cells in the origin of Parkinson's pathology
    DUKE UNIVERSITY · Principal Investigator
  • Oct 2021 ACTIVE
    URMC-099 in in vivo AAV-hSYN and in vitro Dopaminergic Neuron Models
    FOX FOU, MICHAEL J · Principal Investigator
  • Jul 2021 ACTIVE
    The role of the peripheral immune-system in FTD-GRN; increasing understanding for future therapeutic target development
    BRIGHTFOCUS FOU · Other
  • Apr 2021 – Apr 2022
    Weston Brain Institute Advisor Award 2021
    WESTON FAMILY FOUNDATION · Principal Investigator
  • Feb 2021 ACTIVE
    CTOA
    UNIV OF FLORIDA · Principal Investigator
  • Dec 2020 ACTIVE
    The role of viral infection in immune dysregulation of innate and adaptive immune cells in the prodromal and clinical stages of Parkinsons disease.
    FOX FOU, MICHAEL J · Principal Investigator
  • Sep 2020 ACTIVE
    Validate PFF a-syn induced inflammatory phenotype in mice.
    FOX FOU, MICHAEL J · Principal Investigator
  • Aug 2020 ACTIVE
    Assessing LRRK2, GCase and cytokines in cryopreserved monocytes
    FOX FOU, MICHAEL J · Principal Investigator
  • Jul 2020 – Jul 2021
    Weston Brain Institute Grant 2020
    WESTON BRAIN INSTITUTE · Principal Investigator
  • Jul 2020 ACTIVE
    Targeting solTNF-dependent inflammation in ALS with XPro1595 (ALSA)
    INMUNE BIO · Principal Investigator
  • Jun 2020 ACTIVE
    Role of Gut Inflammation and Immunity on Proteostasis, Noradrenergic Degeneration and AD risk
    NATL INST OF HLTH NIA · Principal Investigator
  • May 2020 – Apr 2022
    Development of novel viral vectors to study and treat neuroinflammation
    ST JOSEPHS HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL CNTR · Principal Investigator
  • Feb 2020 ACTIVE
    The role of cannabinoid receptor 2 in inflammatory responses triggered by alpha-synuclein
    FOX FOU, MICHAEL J · Co-Project Director/Principal Investigator
  • Dec 2019 ACTIVE
    LRRK2-Synuclein Interactions with Gut Inflammation in PD Pathogenesis
    PARKINSONS FOU · Principal Investigator
  • Nov 2019 – Nov 2020
    Weston Brain Institute Grant 2019
    WESTON BRAIN INSTITUTE · Principal Investigator
  • Oct 2019 – Oct 2020
    Weston Brain Institute Grant
    WESTON BRAIN INSTITUTE · Principal Investigator
  • Oct 2019 ACTIVE
    Study in Parkinson Disease of Exercise Phase 3 Clinical Trial: SPARX3
    NORTHWESTERN UNIV · Principal Investigator
  • Jul 2019 – Aug 2021
    Targeting LRRK2 in models of GI inflammation
    FOX FOU, MICHAEL J · Principal Investigator
  • May 2017 – Jun 2020
    Role of HLA/MHCII in Parkinson's Disease Pathogenesis
    EMORY UNIV · Project Manager