Dora Kovacs, Ph.D.


Associate Investigator
Neurology, Mass General Research Institute
Associate Professor of Neurology
Harvard Medical School
Research Staff
Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
PhD University of Padova - Italy 1991
abeta; acat inhibitors; alzheimer's disease; amyloid beta-peptides; amyloid beta-protein precursor; amyloid precursor protein secretases; aspartic acid endopeptidases; bace1; neurodegeneration; presenilins; sodium channels; sterol o-acyltransferase

My research focuses on the molecular events underlying neurodegeneration in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Among other neuropathological features, cortical deposition of an insoluble material, called amyloid, occurs in both the aging and the AD-afflicted brain. I am interested in identifying the cellular pathways regulating the generation of the toxic beta-amyloid protein (Abeta), and the factors involved in the subsequent neurodegenerative process associated with this peptide.

We have shown that ACAT inhibitors have reduced generation of Abeta in cell-based models of AD and dramatically improved brain pathology in a transgenic mouse model of AD. We are currently synthesizing and testing novel ACAT inhibitors.

Another major project concerns the physiological functions of presenilin/gamma-secretase and BACE1, the two enzymes that play a pivotal role in the generation of Abeta. Most recently, we established a signaling pathway involving both of these enzymes and regulating the activity of voltage-gated sodium channels in the brain.  We are now examining how sodium channel dysfunction may contribute to AD pathology.

Research website Publications
kovacs@helix.mgh.harvard.edu
6177263668

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