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Mechanisms to medicines in neurodegeneration

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Dervila Glynn.

Theme: Lifelong Brain Development

Abstract: Dysregulation of protein synthesis both globally and locally in neurons and astrocytes is a key feature of neurodegenerative diseases. Aberrant signalling through the Unfolded Protein Response (UPR) and related Integrated Stress Response (ISR) have become major targets for neuroprotection in these disorders. In addition, other homeostatic mechanisms and stress responses, including the cold shock response, appear to regulate local translation and RNA splicing to control synapse maintenance and regeneration and can also be targeted therapeutically for neuroprotection. We have defined the role of UPR /ISR and the cold-shock response in neurodegenerative disorders and have developed translational strategies targeting them for new treatments for dementia.

Biography: Giovanna Mallucci is van Geest Professor of Clinical Neurosciences and Centre Director of the UK Dementia Research Institute (UK DRI ) at the University of Cambridge. Her undergraduate degrees were in Physiological Sciences and Medicine from the University of Oxford, with clinical training at University College, London. She obtained her PhD from London University. Her lab is pioneering interventions targeting common pathways for treatment of dementia. Her work on the role of the unfolded protein response in neurodegenerative disease and its pharmacological manipulation was hailed as “turning point in search for medicines to control and prevent Alzheimer’s” and was the 2013/2014 Research for Society MRC success story. She has received numerous national and international awards for her work, including a SciAm50 award for leadership in research as one of the top 50 scientific innovators worldwide and is the recipient of the 2021 Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders, from the American Academy of Neurology and American Brain Foundation. She has given many plenary and keynote talks at international conferences and numerous lay talks to the public from patients to benefactors and schoolchildren. She is an ERC Consolidator Fellow. In 2017, she was elected Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences. She is Honorary Consultant Neurologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital specialising in Dementia and a Fellow of Churchill College.

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