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Grantee in the News: Ramsey Najm research on Alzheimer’s and the ApoE4 gene in Nature

Apr 18

Grantee in the News: Ramsey Najm research on Alzheimer’s and the ApoE4 gene in Nature View MoreBACK

On April 9, 2018, Nature published research co-authored by 2017 Glenn/AFAR Scholarships for Research in the Biology of Aging recipient Ramsey Najm. 

In “Gain of toxic apolipoprotein E4 effects in human iPSC-derived neurons is ameliorated by a small-molecule structure corrector,” Najm and fellow researchers found that by “using human neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells that expressed apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4), a variant of the APOE gene product and the major genetic risk factor for AD, we demonstrated that ApoE4-expressing neurons had higher levels of tau phosphorylation, unrelated to their increased production of amyloid-β (Aβ) peptides, and that they displayed GABAergic neuron degeneration.”

A related article published by the Gladstone Institute further explained the findings.  “Using human brain cells, scientists (have) discovered the cause of—and a potential solution for—the primary genetic risk factor for Alzheimer’s disease, a gene called apoE4…Researchers revealed how apoE4 confers its risk for Alzheimer’s disease in human brain cells. What’s more, they were able to erase the damage caused by apoE4 by changing it, with a small molecule, into a harmless apoE3-like version.” 

The original research in Nature is available by subscription-only here, but the related Gladstone Institute article can be viewed here.

Ramsey Najm is a Ph.D. candidate in the Developmental and Stem Cell Biology program at University of California, San Francisco, while also working in the Gladstone Institute of Neurological Disease.