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Research Grants 2009


To view an abstract, select an author from the vertical list on the left.

2009 Grants - Rangachari

Understanding the Role of Granulin in Alzheimer's Disease

Vijay Rangachari, Ph.D.
The University of Southern Mississippi
Hattiesburg, Mississippi

2009 New Investigator Research Grant

Granulins are a family of protein fragments that have important functions in different parts of the body. Recent evidence suggests that they may also be involved in neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. At this time, however, little is known about the functions of granulins in the brain, or about the possible mechanisms linking them to disease.

Vijay Rangachari, Ph.D. and colleagues are studying granulins and their possible roles in the development of Alzheimer's disease. They have observed that granulins interact with some forms of beta-amyloid, another protein fragment strongly implicated in Alzheimer pathology. The researchers plan to perform detailed analyses of the interactions between granulins and beta-amyloid. Because beta-amyloid forms clusters and plaques that are toxic to nerve cells, Dr. Rangachari's team is interested in studying how granulins affect the ability of beta-amyloid to form clusters. These studies should improve our understanding of the conditions affecting the formation of beta-amyloid clusters, and may suggest possible therapeutic targets for halting or slowing the progression of Alzheimer's disease.