Dr. Lobner received his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin - Madison in 1991. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. He joined the faculty at Marquette University in October of 1997.
The primary focus of my research is on determining the role of environmental toxins in neurodegenerative diseases. The main neurodegenerative diseases, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and amytrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) are all similar in that the disease is usually caused by a combination of genetic predisposition and environmental factors. However, what those environmental factors are is completely unknown. We use cell culture methods to study the mechanism of toxicity of a number of potential candidates, including mercury, pesticides, and BMAA. BMAA is a non-protein amino acid that was first implicated in neurodegenerative diseases on the pacific island of Guam, but recent evidence suggests that it may be involved in triggering the onset of neurodegenerative diseases throughout the world. The goal of the research is to determine how environmental toxins interact with genetic predisposition to cause neurodegenerative diseases and to determine how to prevent those conditions.