2016 Funding Round - Programme

Professor Michael Dragunow
University of Auckland
Vascular and inflammatory mediators of neurodegeneration
60 months

Lay summary

Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease affect millions of people world-wide but despite decades of research we still have no effective treatments to alter their progression. Our programme of research will study the underlying causes of neurodegeneration, focusing on brain inflammation and alterations in the blood vessels of the brain that allow blood cells and proteins to seep into diseased brain. We will focus on cells involved in brain inflammation (microglia) and also cells, called pericytes, that maintain an intact blood system in the brain. Our research will directly study normal and patient-derived diseased adult human brain tissue and adult human brain cells to identify abnormalities causing brain disease. Furthermore, we will test compounds directly on patient-derived diseased adult human brain cells to identify novel treatments. We believe that this human brain focused approach will generate results that will translate more effectively to patients in the clinic with brain disorders.

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