Identify genes responsible for AD neuron vulnerability

Huaxi Xu, PhD Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute'

Project Details

The identities of “AD genes” are largely unknown. Identification of these genes is one of the most challenging tasks neuroscientists need to address in order to understand the mechanisms underlying the genesis of AD and to find a cure for it. To identify these genes, laboratories have adopted a new technology called “microarray” to compare the gene expression patterns. Searching for the genes expressed differentially in certain types of neuron cells, requires use of a newly developed technology called Laser Capture Microdissection (LCM), to isolate individual types of neurons in the brain region that controls cognitive activity. Dr. Xu plans to identify the genes that govern AD susceptibility at a cellular level by using LCM together with microarray analyses. The potential results of this research will enhance our understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying pathogenesis of AD and provide crucial information for developing effective therapies.