Eric K. Hoffman, PhD, is conducting investigations to develop cell culture models of the neurodegenerative processes associated with Parkinson’s disease (PD). Research efforts are focusing on the use of CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology to generate knockout and knock- in cell lines targeting genes linked to PD. Specific genes under investigation include the LRRK2 kinase gene and the alpha synuclein gene. Point mutations in these genes have been increasingly implicated in familial PD. Ongoing studies are characterizing mutations in the alpha synuclein gene and how these alterations may influence aggregation of this protein. Also under investigation are cell lines containing PD associated mutations in the LRRK2 gene. These lines are currently being characterized to determine the effect these mutations have on kinase activity. Future studies will involve the use of these cell culture models under conditions of oxidative stress to better understand how this factor contributes to the process of neurodegeneration.