Wenjie Luo, PhD

Dr. Luo is an assistant professor at the Appel Alzheimer’s Disease Research Institute, a part of the Brain and Mind Research Institute of Weill Cornell Medical College. Her research focuses on studying how the brain’s innate immune cell, the microglia, function or fail to function in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Her group recently discovered a role for microglia in the clearance of pathological tau proteins, the major component of neurofibrillary tangles in the AD brain. They are investigating the mechanisms by which microglia regulate the pathogenic accumulation of amyloid and tau during the progression of the disease. Dr. Luo has broad training in cell biology, genetics and biochemistry. She received her bachelor of science degree in cell biology and genetics from Peking University in China, and her PhD in cell biology and genetics from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, NY. She finished her postdoctoral training at The Rockefeller University studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms of AD. Her previous work contributed to our in-depth understanding of intracellular trafficking of amyloid precursor protein and its cleaving enzyme, gamma-secretase, in AD. She also discovered a therapeutic role for small molecule inhibitors of heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) in regulating tau degradation and aggregation using disease-relevant cell and animal models.