University of Cambridge > > Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series > Translational medicine in Alzheimer’s disease – taking the unfolded protein response as a therapeutic target in to clinical trials.

Translational medicine in Alzheimer’s disease – taking the unfolded protein response as a therapeutic target in to clinical trials.

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Chair: Prof John O'Brien

Abstract: Pioneering work by Professor Giovanna Mallucci here in Cambridge has identified decreased protein synthesis arising from chronic over-activation of the unfolded protein response as a key pathological event in dementia. Furthermore, work in her lab has identified a number of licensed drugs as potentially reversing this and rescuing disease phenotypes. In this talk I will recap some of this laboratory work before focussing on how we are translating this work in terms of experimental medicine and clinical trials.

Biography: Ben Underwood studied natural science at Oxford University and medicine in London. He then worked in neurology and Accident and Emergency before coming to Cambridge in 2002. Here he completed his psychiatric training and a PhD with Professor David Rubinsztein looking at the application of autophagy up-regulating drugs as possible disease modifying agents in dementia. He carried out the first trial of one of these drugs, rilmenidine, in Huntington’s disease patients. He has been a consultant old age psychiatrist for ten years but has maintained an interest in clinical trials in dementia. He is currently the clinical lead for dementia in the East of England for the Clinical Research Network (CRN) and national lead for stratified medicine in dementia and co-organises the University MPhil in translational medicine.

Ben is the deputy medical director at CPFT and clinical director of the older people and adult community directorate and the Windsor Unit, which was a key contributor to the successful trial of the Oxford coronavirus vaccine. Encouraged by this success he will become a lecturer in older people’s health at the University of Cambridge from April 2021 and clinical director of the Gnodde Goldman Sachs translational neuroscience unit, which seeks to be a vehicle connecting patients with dementia to the latest research through experimental medicine and clinical trials with a focus on translating the basic science discoveries from Professor Giovanna Mallucci.

This talk is part of the Department of Psychiatry & CPFT Thursday Lunchtime Seminar Series series.

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