Mucke To Give Mahoney Lecture
Dr. Lennart Mucke, whose research examines processes that result in memory loss and other neurological deficits, will discuss “From Genetics to Therapeutics in Alzheimer’s: Accelerating Translation, Increasing Success” May 9 at 3 p.m. in Masur Auditorium, Bldg. 10. Mucke, professor of neurology and neuroscience, University of California, San Francisco, and founding director of the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease, the J. David Gladstone Institutes, is this year’s honoree delivering the annual Florence S. Mahoney Lecture on Aging. The lecture is sponsored by NIA and is part of the NIH Director’s Wednesday Afternoon Lecture Series.
Mucke’s research uses transgenic mouse models and neural cultures to dissect the pathogenic pathways that lead from genetic and environmental risk factors to neurological abnormalities at the molecular, cellular, network and behavioral levels. Experimental mouse models are also used to develop and evaluate novel treatment strategies.
In Alzheimer-related transgenic models, Mucke’s lab discovered that amyloid-beta peptides (Ab) can damage synapses and disrupt neural memory circuits independent of their deposition into the visible amyloid plaques that form in Alzheimer brains. The plaque-independent toxicity of these peptides was inhibited by apolipoprotein E3, but not E4, and by genetically deleting tau, which may relate to the differential effects of these molecules on Alzheimer risk and age of onset. Pathogenic interactions between Ab and alpha-synuclein worsened cognitive and motor deficits in doubly transgenic mice, a finding of potential relevance to the frequent overlap between AD and Parkinson’s disease.
Ongoing studies expand on these findings and address clinically relevant questions, aiming to unravel and block the pathogenic cascades and neural network dysfunction these pathogenic proteins trigger.
Mucke is a graduate of the Free University Berlin School of Medicine, Georg-August University, School of Medicine and the Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry (Neurobiology) in Göttingen, Germany. He trained in internal medicine at the Cleveland Clinic, in neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School and in neuroimmunology and neurovirology at the Scripps Research Institute.
He has received numerous awards, including the Potamkin Prize from the American Academy of Neurology, Metlife Foundation Award for Medical Research and a MERIT Award from NIH. He chairs the Senate of the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and served on the National Advisory Council on Aging. He is also a grant recipient of multiple NIH institutes.
The annual Mahoney Lecture is named in honor of Florence Stephenson Mahoney (1899-2002). She devoted the last half of her life to successfully advocating for the creation of NIA and increased support for NIH.
There will be a reception and an opportunity to talk with the speaker in the NIH Library immediately following the lecture.