The long-term objective of Dr. LeBlanc’s research is to investigate the mechanisms responsible for the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases in aging individuals. Her main research goal is to test the hypothesis that unscheduled death mechanisms of neurons may be the leading physiological abnormality contributing to the loss of critical a mass of functional neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), and that this loss is the underlying cellular reason for the CNS deficit in Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative diseases. Her laboratory investigates various cell death pathways in human primary neuron cultures and their role in AD and prion disease pathology. Information obtained from theses studies will establish a platform from which a clear and direct strategic plan can be formulated to stop the actions of pro-death proteins and therefore prevent neuronal cell death. The ultimate purpose of the research in Dr. LeBlanc’s laboratory is to provide a molecular "handle" to prevent or slow down the process of neuronal cell death and degeneration in neurodegenerative diseases.