McLendon to examine protein protectiveness against Alzheimer’s

Jared McLendon, PhD, associate in the Division of Cardiovascular Medicine, has received a three-year, $175,000 grant from the Alzheimer’s Association examining the molecular significance of Sorbs2 in Alzheimer’s disease. Higher levels of this protein have been associated with delayed onset of the disease by more than 11 years and, conversely, decreased levels of Sorbs2 have been observed in people diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. “This suggests,” McLendon said, “that increased Sorbs2 in the brain may protect against Alzheimer’s disease” and even other related cognitive impairments like dementia.

Using mouse models, McLendon and colleagues will test a cause-and-effect relationship between Sorbs2, learning and memory, neuronal cell death, and microtubules, structures within neurons important to normal cell function. In addition to further expanding understanding about the role of Sorbs2 in neurons and brain health, McLendon’s work under this grant could potentially isolate this protein as a potential therapeutic target in treating or preventing Alzheimer’s disease.

McLendon expressed his appreciation to “several mentors and collaborators” who aided in the application’s design, including Ryan Boudreau, PhD; Pathology’s Marco Hefti, MD; Neuroscience and Pharmacology’s Ted Abel, PhD; Snehajyoti Chatterjee, PhD, and Catherine Marcinkiewcz, PhD. “I look forward to working with them in the future.” McLendon joined the department’s faculty in late 2021 after finishing a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Abboud Cardiovascular Research Center.

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