Drs. Athan Zovoilis, a professor of bioinformatics in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Majid Mohajerani, a professor of neuroscience, have secured a grant worth $200,000 from the Alberta Prion Research Institute to study how the misfolding of proteins causes symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease.
“We know that protein misfolding, a molecular process in which biomolecules called proteins get an abnormal 3D conformation, is associated with the development of this debilitating disease. However, we still don’t have a clear picture of how this protein misfolding leads to brain cell death and subsequently to dementia,” says Zovoilis, who was recruited to the U of L from Harvard Medical School as a Canada Research Chair in RNA Bioinformatics and Genomics. “Now we have new genomic technologies, such as next-generation sequencing, that give the ability to better understand what is happening at the molecular level in the brain cells due to protein misfolding.”
Zovoilis’ RNA Genomics Laboratory is the first in Western Canada to get access to a new cutting-edge sequencing platform called PromethION that enables a better insight into the biology of Alzheimer’s disease through a novel approach called direct, long range RNA-sequencing.
Read the full release at University of Lethbridge News