Deepak Vijaya Kumar, Ph.D.

Instructor in Investigation
Neurology, Mass General Research Institute
Instructor in Neurology
Harvard Medical School

The focus of my research is on characterization of the Abeta protein of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) as an antimicrobial peptide (AMP). The astounding structural and functional similarity that exists between Abeta and other human AMPs suggests a possible role for Abeta in the host innate immune defense, which may help better understand both the pathophysiology and etiology of AD.

After receiving my Ph.D. from Indiana State University, I joined Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in the department of mucosal immunology. I am currently  in Dr. Robert D. Moir’s laboratory in the Genetics and Aging Research Unit at MGH. A combination of academic experiences that encompassed various fields, including microbiology, neuroscience, infection and immunity, has helped me grasp a myriad of concepts in those respective areas. This combined with my five years of industrial experience in microbiology at AstraZeneca helped me acquire extensive training and experience that I am able to apply to my current AD research in Moir’s laboratory. Additional projects that I am involved in include characterization of the human amylin peptide (another amyloid peptide), investigating the in vitro and in vivo endotoxin-neutralization properties of Abeta, and characterization of AMP activity of Abeta in a C. elegans AD model.