Wilma Wasco, Ph.D.
Neurology, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Wilma Wasco is interested in factors and events that surround the neuronal degeneration that is characteristic of Alzheimer's disease and normal aging.
Her lab was involved in the identification and characterization the two presenilin proteins (PS1 and PS2), and her current focus is on identifying genes associated with the etiology of late onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Her laboratory studies the regulation and function of genes that have been associated with Alzheimer’s disease and has been directly involved in the identification and characterization of a number of such genes — two amyloid precursor-like proteins (APLP1 and APLP2), the two presenilin proteins (PS1 and PS2) and calsenilin, a presenilin interacting protein that is also a neuronal calcium binding protein.
By understanding the biological role that each protein plays in both the normal and the aging brain and determining how disease associated mutations change these functions, neuronal degeneration can be better understood and rational therapeutic interventions explored.