BUSM professor receives award for Alzheimer's research

December 04, 2013

(Boston) - Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology and neurology at Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM), has been awarded the Zenith Fellows Award from the Alzheimer's Association. The three-year, $450,000 award will support Wolozin's research in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. The goal of this work is to determine the molecular foundation of the proteins responsible for causing Alzheimer's.

Wolozin will use molecular and cell culture approaches to investigate a novel molecular program causing formation neurofibrillary tangles. The tangles result from misfolding of tau proteins, which according to the researchers, leads to cognitive loss in individuals with Alzheimer's. The samples will be analyzed to characterize the signatures of the molecular program, termed stress granules, as they combine in the neurofibrillary tangle that forms in the brain.

"This work could lead to a new understanding of disease mechanisms and novel therapeutics that are able to prevent pathological misfolding of tau protein," said Wolozin. "The Zenith Award emphasizes the importance of this work."

Using a wide range of approaches from molecular to epidemiological to study neurodegenerative diseases, Wolizin's laboratory at BUSM focuses on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, as well as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. His previous research includes examining the role of cholesterol in Alzheimer's and how statins may affect the pathophysiology of the disease. His work on Parkinson's examines the interaction between genes and environmental factors implicated in the disease.

Wolozin earned his MD and PhD from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He completed postdoctoral fellowships and Mount Sinai Medical Center and the National Institute of Mental Health.
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Boston University Medical Center

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