Department of Pharmacology and Chemical Biology

Lab Highlights

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Kukar Lab Receives Gift From Arkuda Therapeutics To Accelerate His Progranulin Research 

In 2022, the Kukar Lab received a generous gift for their project titled, "Establishing the bioactivity of granulins in a mouse model of progranulin deficiency," from Arkuda Therapeutics, a biotechnology company, to conduct research focused on establishing the bioactivity of granulins in a mouse model of progranulin deficiency. The goal of the project is to complete proof-of-concept in vivo efficiency studies to determine if delivery of a single granulin protein in the Grn-/- mouse brain is sufficient to rescue lysosomal dysfunction caused by progranulin (PGRN) deficiency.

Arkuda Therapeutics is focused on discovering and developing therapies with the potential to bring new hope to those affected by frontotemporal dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. When asked about Arkuda’s support of Dr. Kukar, Gerhard Koenig, Ph.D., President and CEO of Arkuda said: “The scientific literature points to the important roles granulins play in lysosomal health. Our therapeutic approach enhances both the secretion of progranulin and levels of lysosomal granulins.


  • Six manuscripts since 2019 (Frontiers in Immunology, Neurobiology of DiseaseNeuronActa neuropath. comm.Autophagy, and Journal of Biological Chemistry)
  • Lab review articleLysosome dysfunction as a cause of neurodegenerative diseases titled, "Lessons from frontotemporal dementia and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis," 2021.