Visiting Assistant Professor of Biology
Neurodegenerative diseases are an increasing problem in healthcare, and have a common feature of misfolded protein aggregates. Our research uses yeast and cells grown in culture to understand and optimize the chaperone protein systems that naturally unfold these aggregates.
Erica Gorenberg joined the Ursinus College Biology department in 2022. An Ursinus College alum, she received her PhD in Neuroscience from Yale University in 2020. While a graduate student at Yale, she studied protein-protein interactions in the context of neurodegenerative disease with Dr. Sreeganga Chandra. She received further training as a University of Pennsylvania postdoctoral fellow (PennPORT). At the University of Pennsylvania, she worked with Dr. James Shorter studying chaperone mediated disaggregation of neurodegenerative disease proteins, while teaching a range of students in the laboratory and the classroom. She continues to collaborate with students to study neurodegenerative disease protein aggregates at Ursinus.
In addition to her lab work, Dr. Gorenberg studies methods for improving accessibility and inclusion in biology classes and labs. She aims to create learning environments where her students feel confident to participate, question, and grow as they develop their scientific thinking skills. When not in the classroom, Dr. Gorenberg enjoys knitting, hiking, reading, and taking care of her dog and many plants.
B.S., Ursinus College
PhD, Yale University
Introductory Cell Biology
Protein misfolding and aggregation
Active learning in the classroom
Classroom accessibility and inclusivity
Gorenberg, E.L., Tieze, S.M., Yücel, B., Zhao, H.R., Chou, V., Wirak, G.S., Tomita, S., Lam. T.T., Chandra, S.S. Identification of synaptic PPT1 substrates highlight roles of depalmitoylation in disulfide bond formation and synaptic function. PLoS Biology. March 2022.
Gorenberg EL, Shorter J. Tau heckles speckles: A pathogenic mechanism in tauopathy? Neuron. May 2021.
Taguchi, Y. V., Gorenberg, E.L., Nagy, M., Thrasher, D., Fenton, W.A., Volpicelli-Daley, L., Horwich, A.L., Chandra, S.S. Hsp110 Mitigates α-Synuclein Pathology In Vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. November 2019.
Gorenberg, E.L., Chandra, S.S. The Function of Co-Chaperones in Synaptic Proteostasis and Neurodegenerative Disease. Frontiers in Neuroscience. May 2017. PMID: 28579939.