Dr LaDu's lab studies the pathology of Alzheimer disease (AD) by focusing on the structure/function
interactions between the human isoforms of apolipoprotein E (apoE) and
amyloid-β peptide (Aβ). A naturally occurring isoform of the
APOE gene, apoE4, increases lifetime risk for AD 60-fold compared to the
more common apoE3. Aβ, particularly oligomeric aggregates (oAβ),
is considered a major cause of AD. Our overall hypothesis is that apoE4
and oAβ act synergistically to compromise neuronal viability. We
utilize an integrated approach to address the complexity of apoE/Aβ
interactions, including biochemical, molecular biology, and cell biology
methods using in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo models. Our goal is to
develop oAβ and apoE/Aβ complex as "mechanistic biomarkers" and
therapeutic targets as both are significant prior to neuronal damage.
Current research interests include:
- Effect of APOE genotype on Aβ accumulation and speciation
- Role of apoE/Aβ complex in Aβ clearance with a focus on ApoE isoform, apoE levels and apoE lipidation.
- oAβ and apoE/Aβ ELISAs as mechanistic biomarkers for AD
- Effect of apoE isoform on inflammation and synapse viability.
- Development and testing of AD therapeutics including:
- ApoE-dependent therapeutics targeting apoE/Aβ complex and
- ApoE-independent therapeutics whose efficacy may be affected by apoE
The University of Illinois has entered into an agreement with CONACYT (the National Science Foundation of Mexico) to support Mexican nationals who have been admitted into
PhD programs at one of the three UI System universities.
CONACYT has agreed to support these PhD students for the first four years of their study. This is a competitive program and the student must apply
for the CONACYT award after they have been accepted into a UI System PhD program.
The LaDu Lab is currently recruiting students for PhD programs in Neuroscience (GPN) or Graduate Education in Medical Sciences (GEMS) at the University of Illinois at Chicago via the CONACYT international scholarship program.
See application details below. Please note the LaDu lab will provide tutoring for the admission process.
CONACYT Award Instructions
Please support our research program in Neurodegeneration by donating to the University of Illinois at Chicago. Your generous contribution will directly support our research with qualified, academic research personnel.
To make a donation directly to the LaDu Lab, please contact:
Lea Smucker, Director of Administrative Operations
Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology
College of Medicine
University of Illinois at Chicago
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org