Developing multifunctional ligands to treat Alzheimer's disease
Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is a progressive neurodegenerative disorder leading to the loss of memory and cognition. According to World Health Organization (WHO) currently there are about 24 million people worldwide with AD. With our aging population, it is estimated that the present figures on AD will more than double by 2025.
Investigating the mechanisms of amyloid aggregation
Partially disordered proteins such as beta-amyloid, tau, alpha synuclein and prion proteins tend to aggregate into dimers, oligomers and fibrils. These various species are known to play a significant role in the pathophysiology of a number diseases such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease to mention a few. Unfortunately, these proteins are not amenable to high resolution structure determination techniques. In our lab we develop small molecules that can bind to partially disordered proteins to understand the forces involved in protein aggregation. These investigations will assist in identifying critical polar and nonpolar regions involved in the formation of protein aggregates, dimers, oligomers and fibrils. We use a number of in vitro biochemical techniques including fluorescence measurements to monitor aggregation kinetics, computational software to understand the forces involved in aggregation/disaggregation and transmission electron microscopy to monitor aggregation morphology.