CYNTHIA A. LEMERE, PH.D.
Associate Professor of Neurology, Harvard Medical School
“The scariest thing about this disease is that pathology starts 15–20 years before clinical symptoms appear. Early detection is critical, as diseases are typically easier to slow down in the early stages. This is one of the reasons why I encourage women to get into neuroscience; we need all the researchers we can get, and the opportunities for women continue to increase.”
Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has provided multiple grants to Cynthia Lemere, PH.D. One of her areas of focus is looking into ways that antibodies can be used to slow or prevent the disease. She points to the discovery that Alzheimer’s disease begins 15 to 20 years before symptoms appear gives researchers and scientists new ways to help develop treatments to slow the disease’s progression.
Dr. Lemere’s research focuses on using the immune system therapeutically for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease. Studies in her lab explore the role of immune system proteins in Alzheimer’s, and the clearance of amyloid-beta from the brain; gaining a better understanding of the development and progression of Alzheimer’s disease in Down syndrome; identifying the risks of deep space radiation on the brain; and understanding the contributions of a disease-related, modified form of amyloid-beta, called pyroglutamate amyloid-beta, to Alzheimer’s disease to determine its value as a therapeutic target.
Dr. Lemere earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Education from Mount Holyoke College followed by a master’s in Neurobiology from the University at Albany, State University of New York. After working at the Center for Neurologic Diseases (CND) in the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Dr. Lemere conducted research on Alzheimer’s-related brain changes in individuals with Down syndrome in the Selkoe Laboratory at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, while pursuing her doctorate in Pathology at Boston University School of Medicine. After receiving her PH.D., she remained at the CND as a Postdoctoral Fellow and Instructor.
In 1997, Dr. Lemere started her own lab when she became an Assistant Professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. At that time her interests shifted to include the role of inflammation and the immune system in Alzheimer’s disease. In 2004, she became an Associate Professor of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School; since then, the majority of her work has focused on developing a safe and effective amyloid-beta vaccine for the prevention or treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Lemere serves on several national and international scientific Alzheimer’s advisory boards.