Date of Award

January 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

David H Thompson

Committee Member 1

Alexander Wei

Committee Member 2

Paul Wenthold

Committee Member 3

Chittaranjan Das


Niemann-Pick Disease Type C (NPC) is a rare, autosomal recessive genetic disorder featuring a loss of proteins responsible for unesterified cholesterol (UC) trafficking through the late endosomes/lysosomes (LE/LY) of every cell of the body. Disruption of this pathway leads to abnormal accumulation and storage of UC and other lipids. A broad range of visceral and neurological symptoms result from this accumulation exhibiting a variable age of onset and a disease progression that is ultimately fatal. The disease has an incidence of approximately 1 in 120,000 live births and has no known effective treatment.