Lori Buhlman, Ph.D.

Glendale, AZ

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My lab team’s overarching research goal is to elucidate mechanisms by which absence of the parkin protein causes a subset of human dopaminergic neurons to degenerate. Parkin loss-of-function Drosophila is a particularly useful model in this context because the fruit fly has a brain region that is evolutionarily and functionally homologous to the brain structure that undergoes degeneration in Parkinson’s disease patients. Parkin-null flies have selective degeneration in this region and subsequent motor deficits that are easily observed. We were the first to report deficits in a heterozygous parkin loss-of-function model. Using transgenic flies that facilitate visualization of mitochondria and autophagosomes in vulnerable fly neurons ex vivo, we have reported significant differences in mitochondrial protein oxidation, morphology, and turnover in degenerating parkin-null fly neurons; these differences were not observed in similar but non-degenerating neurons. Our recent reports and current efforts are aimed at highlighting triggering sources of mitochondrial protein oxidation and testing novel Mn porphyrin antioxidants in our model.  


Glendale, AZ

College of Graduate Studies - AZ
College of Veterinary Medicine

Biomedical Sciences

Biomedical Sciences (M.A.)
Biomedical Sciences (M.B.S.)

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University of Arizona | 2007 | Ph.D.
Michigan State University | 1999 | B.S.

Courses Taught

Molecular Cell Biology

Pharmacology I


Application of Precision Medicine to Neurological Diseases


Houlihan KL, Keoseyan PP, Juba AN, et al. Folic Acid Improves Parkin-Null Drosophila Phenotypes and Transiently Reduces Vulnerable Dopaminergic Neuron Mitochondrial Hydrogen Peroxide Levels and Glutathione Redox Equilibrium. Antioxidants (Basel). 2022;11(10):2068. Published 2022 Oct 20. doi:10.3390/antiox11102068

Mannett BT, Capt BC, Pearman K, Buhlman LM, VandenBrooks JM, Call GB. Nicotine Has a Therapeutic Window of Effectiveness in a Drosophila melanogaster Model of Parkinson's Disease. Parkinsons Dis. 2022;2022:9291077. Published 2022 Jul 8. doi:10.1155/2022/9291077

Buhlman LM, Krishna G, Jones TB, Thomas TC. Drosophila as a model to explore secondary injury cascades after traumatic brain injury. Biomed Pharmacother. 2021;142:112079. doi:10.1016/j.biopha.2021.112079

Buhlman LM, Keoseyan PP, Houlihan KL, Juba AN. Measuring Mitochondrial Hydrogen Peroxide Levels and Glutathione Redox Equilibrium in Drosophila Neuron Subtypes Using Redox-Sensitive Fluorophores and 3D Imaging [published correction appears in Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2276:C1]. Methods Mol Biol. 2021;2276:113-127. doi:10.1007/978-1-0716-1266-8_8

Gutierrez-Luke SJ, Juba AN, Bertolin G, Buhlman LM. 3D quantification of autophagy activation and autophagosome-to-mitochondria recruitment in a Drosophila model of Parkinson's disease. STAR Protoc. 2021;2(2):100408. Published 2021 Mar 25. doi:10.1016/j.xpro.2021.100408

Cackovic J, Gutierrez-Luke S, Call GB, Juba A, O'Brien S, Jun CH, Buhlman LM. Front Cell Neurosci. 2018 Feb 15;12:39. doi: 10.3389/fncel.2018.00039. eCollection 2018.

Steffensen SC, Shin SI, Nelson AC, Pistorius SS, Williams SB, Woodward TJ, Park HJ, Friend L, Gao M, Gao F, Taylor DH, Foster Olive M, Edwards JG, Sudweeks SN, Buhlman LM, Michael McIntosh J, Wu J. Addict Biol. 2018 Sep;23(5):1079-1093. doi: 10.1111/adb.12559. Epub 2017 Sep 13.

Buhlman LM. Mech Ageing Dev. 2017 Jan;161(Pt A):112-120. doi: 10.1016/j.mad.2016.06.008. Epub 2016 Jun 29. Review.

Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Degeneration and Repair in Parkinson's Disease Editors: Buhlman, Lori M. (Ed.)

Buhlman LM. Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Degeneration and Repair in Parkinson's Disease pp 207-218| Altering Mitochondrial Fusion and Fission Protein Levels Rescues Parkin and PINK1 Loss-of-Function Phenotypes. 2016.

Buhlman LM and Hu J. Mitochondrial Mechanisms of Degeneration and Repair in Parkinson's Disease pp 219-229| Early Nicotine Exposure Is Protective in Familial and Idiopathic Models of Parkinson’s Disease. 2016.

Buhlman L, Damiano M, Bertolin G, Ferrando-Miguel R, Lombès A, Brice A, Corti O. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Sep;1843(9):2012-26. doi: 10.1016/j.bbamcr.2014.05.012. Epub 2014 May 27.


Society for Neuroscience