- American Heart Association
Research in our laboratory focuses on the biological and pathophysiological functions of apolipoprotein (apo) E. Long-term goals of our research are to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which apoE4 increases the risk of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related neurodegeneratative disorders and to develop therapeutic strategies to treat or prevent AD.
Human apoE has three isoforms, apoE2, apoE3 and apoE4. ApoE4 is a major gene, with semi-dominant inheritance, for late-onset AD; however, its roles in the pathogenesis of AD are unclear.
We use neuronal cultures, induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells and transgenic and gene-targeted mouse models to study the differential effects of apoE3 and apoE4 on cell signaling pathways and cytoskelatal structure and function at molecular, cellular and behavioral levels. We also use these approaches to develop and evaluate novel treatment strategies for AD and other apoE4-related neurodegenerative disorders.