Font resize Email Print

UCSF Team Receives Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Grant for Innovative Alzheimer’s Research

September 10, 2015

A UCSF team of interdisciplinary investigators received a three-year $1.3 million grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation supporting the exploration of innovative new ideas in the cell biology of Alzheimer’s disease. The team is led by Aimee Kao, MD, PhD, from the UCSF School of Medicine’s Memory and Aging Center, and includes Diane Barber, PhD, and Torsten Wittmann, PhD, from the UCSF School of Dentistry’s Department of Cell and Tissue Biology along with Matt Jacobson, PhD, from the UCSF School of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. The title of the project is Disregulation of pH Dynamics in Alzheimer's Disease Pathogenesis.

Dr. Barber says the team is exploring the innovative idea that the lower intracelluar pH (more acidic) that occurs with neurodegeneration enables the pathologies associated with Alzheimer’s Disease, an inversion of the idea discussed in her profile in the 2013 UCSF Dentistry Magazine that an increase in intracellular pH (more alkaline) enables cancer pathologies.

“This is really exciting work because it is, in essence, collaborative and interdisciplinary, incorporating investigators from Dentistry, Medicine and Pharmacy, as well as using C. elegans, clonal-neuronal cells, protein biochemistry and computational molecular modeling,” says Dr. Barber.

More information about the team’s research can be found here.