Dr. Thomas Wisniewski's Lab
The Conformational Disorders laboratory focuses on gaining a better understanding of neurodegenerative such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and prion related diseases. In addition, the laboratory works on other neurological disorders such as autism and stroke. This work has led to over 210 peer-reviewed publications and has been continuously funded from the NIH and other Agencies such as the Alzheimer’s Disease Association for over 20 years.
- Identification of the role of apolipoprotein E4 (apoE4) as a “pathological chaperone”, promoting aggregation of amyloid β (Aβ), in AD
- Development of therapeutic approaches for AD based on the apoE/Aβ interaction which reduce amyloid plaque burden, CAA and Aβ oligomer levels, without toxicity.
- Production of improved immunization approaches for AD using non-toxic, non-fibrillogenic Aβ homologous peptides without Th1 epitopes for greater efficacy and lower toxicity.
- Development of the first active and passive immunization approaches for prion disease which are effective in wild-type, non-genetically modified model animals.
- Reporting the first method to image Aβ deposits in model animals using MRI techniques with USPIO amyloid binding ligands, which cross the BBB.
- Characterization of the neuropathological features associated with different types of autism.
- Development of a novel therapeutic approach for AD by stimulating innate immunity via Toll-like receptors.
- Characterization of a novel immunization approach with a non-self immunogen (pABri) that produces an immune response targeting the shared pathological conformation of both Aβ and tau oligomers, as well as other amyloid prone proteins.