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Trainees

Photo Name Project Lab Email
Bonds, Jacqueline There are several risk factors that contribute to the development of Alzheimer's disease (AD), including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes (T2D). According to data collected from the Mayo Clinic Alzheimer's Disease Registry, more than 80% of AD cases also present with either T2D or an impaired glucose metabolism disorder. Unfortunately, the mechanisms underlying the link between these two diseases is complex and very poorly understood. This project aims to clarify how deficits in caveolin-1 expression in the brain causes AD-related neuropathology and compromised neurogenesis. Orly Lazarov, Ph.D. jbonds3@uic.edu
Lee, Sue Recent reports have linked traumatic brain injury (TBI) ranging from sport athlete's concussions to soldier blast impacts to earlier onset dementia. Still the link between mild trauma and its role in the ability to deplete a person's "cognitive reserve" as they age leading to dementia is still unknown. The proposed research seeks to 1) characterize a novel mouse model of aging, Aldh2-/-, induced with either single or repetitive mTBI, 2) identify and visualize lipid distribution changes on brain slices of these mice with MALDI imaging mass spectrometry, and 3) utilize computational and MRI neuroimaging techniques to identify mechanisms that may lead to identification of underlying mechanisms or early biomarkers that lead to increased risk of dementia. We hypothesize that by better understanding the long-term negative consequences of TBI from different perspectives will allow us to develop treatments for ADRD with prior mTBI. Greg Thatcher, Ph.D. suelee1@uic.edu
Cutler Lewandowski We aim to identify and develop tissue-selective ABCA1 agonists (TSAAgs) as Alzheimer's Disease (AD) drug candidates with multifactorial therapeutic potential. We are utilizing medicinal chemistry approaches to synthesize novel lead TSAAgs based on chemotypes that have been identified and validated in a high-throughput screen. Lead TSAAgs will undergo extensive evaluation in vitro, followed by in vivo testing in healthy mice to establish pharmacodynamic and pharmacokinetic profiles and in two preclinical disease models to assess their potential as AD therapeutics for progression into human clinical trials. Greg Thatcher, Ph.D. lewando4@uic.edu
Morrissey, Zachery I will be using resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (rs-fMRI) to study the connectome changes that occur in transgenic mouse models of Alzheimer's Disease (AD) and neurogenesis. By using molecular biology techniques in conjunction with emerging neuroimaging analysis methods, we can better understand the cellular and neural network mechanisms underlying neurodegeneration. These experiments will give a system-level insight into how brain connectomes are altered as a result of AD, and improve our clinical understanding of how cognition improves as a result of environmental enrichment and neurogenesis. Alex Leow, MD/Ph.D. zmorri4@uic.edu