Research in the Zheng Laboratory focuses on deciphering the molecular and pathophysiological mechanisms of Alzheimer's disease (AD), a disease characterized by the accumulation of beta-amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles and accompanied by prominent changes of the astrocytes and microglia. We hypothesize that AD is caused by a defective cellular clearance system, leading to the buildup of misfolded and aggregated proteins, and is manifested by uncontrolled glial and immune responses. Accordingly, we are investigating the role of the lysosome in the clearance of the amyloid and tangles. We are also interested in understanding how astrocytes and microglia respond to neuronal insults and AD pathologies. To address these questions, we employ mechanistic studies and functional testing using both AD-relevant mouse models and human iPSC derived cultures.