The David and Lynn Nicholson Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research awarded three $20,000 pilot grants to support research seeking to understand mechanisms of neurodegenerative brain disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease. An additional award was given in the category of general neuroscience using funds from the FAU Stiles-Nicholson Brain Institute.
Maureen Hahn, Ph.D., and Henriette van Praag, Ph.D., both department of biomedical science, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine: Effects of Exercise on Adult Neurogenesis and Cognitive Function in Choline Transporter Val89 Knock-in Mice. This research will determine, for the first time, if CHT, a choline transporter gene, activity influences neurogenesis and hippocampal-mediated learning and memory, with the possibility of advancing CHT as a novel target for interventions in Alzheimer’s disease and other disorders in which both diminished brain acetylcholine and neurogenesis is a factor.
Qi Zhang, Ph.D., department of chemistry and biochemistry, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science: A Bird’s-Eye View of Brain Cholesterol Regulators in Alzheimer’s Disease Model Mice. The project investigates the role of cholesterol dysregulation and associated cellular pathologies in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease.
Deguo Du, Ph.D., department of chemistry and biochemistry, Charles E. Schmidt College of Science, and Yunqing Kang, department of ocean and mechanical engineering, College of Engineering and Computer Science: Deciphering Impact of Phosphorylation in Microtubule Binding Repeat Domain on Tau Aggregation. This research will determine potential disease-modifying treatment for Alzheimer’s disease and many other neurodegenerative disorders called tauopathies.
Adele Stewart, Ph.D., department of biomedical science, Charles E. Schmidt College of Medicine: Determination of Region-Specific, Sex- Biased Dopamine Neuron Transcripts Utilizing RiboTag Mice. This research will provide key data to define sexually dimorphic patterns of gene expression that may be linked to the differential sex bias of Autism spectrum disorder and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder diagnoses and their differing behaviors.