Rehana Leak

Associate Professor
School of Pharmacy
Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences

407 Mellon Hall
Phone: 412.396.4734


Ph.D., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 1996–98
M.Sc., Neuroscience, University of Pittsburgh, 1993–95
B.A., Biopsychology, Barnard College, 1988–92

Current Courses

PHBM 355: Human Physiology and Pathology I

PHBM 356: Human Physiology and Pathology II (Coursemaster)

GPSC 576: Neuronal Pharmacology and General Toxicological Principles (Coursemaster)

GPSC 695: Oral and Written Presentation Skills in Pharmacology (Coursemaster)

GPSC 572: Methods of Evaluation of Drug Action and Toxicity



Research in the Leak laboratory focuses on the causes and consequences of Lewy body disorders, such as Parkinson's disease and dementia with Lewy bodies. We model Lewy body disorders in mice and rats in vivo and in primary neuron and glial cell cultures in vitro. We test promising therapies in these preclinical models, and we also assess human brain tissue for markers of disease. The central questions that the Leak lab seeks to answer are:

  1. Can the spread of Lewy pathology through the brain be halted or decelerated with interventions?
  2. Do stress-inducible, intrinsic defense systems naturally slow the progression of Lewy body disorders?
  3. How does Lewy pathology work its way through the brain?
  4. Why does Parkinson's disease commence on one side of the body and then spread to the other side?

You can link to our published research here:


Below are links to three invited papers and one video presentation:

  1. On alpha-synuclein as a prion-like particle:
  2. On developing tolerance against the pathology of Parkinson's disease:
  3. On leveraging heat shock proteins as therapies:
  4. On glial stress tolerance:

Patients with neurological disorders and their caregivers are welcome to visit the Leak laboratory. Please email or call 412.396.4734 to set up a visit, or if you cannot access publications at the links above.




Link to Rehana Leak's Publications at Google Scholar

Link to Rehana Leak's Publications via Scopus

Link to Rehana Leak's Publications via ORCID

Link to Rehana Leak's Publications via PubMed