Assistant Professor of Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital
Ana Griciuc investigates neuroinflammation, with an emphasis on two microglial receptors: CD33 and TREM2. Microglia clear amyloid beta and dead or infected cells and prune excess synapses. However, in Alzheimer’s disease, microglia can become activated and pro-inflammatory. CD33 is the “on” switch for neuroinflammation, while TREM2 acts like an “off” switch. The two receptors are being investigated for their potential as targets for therapeutics to prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease.
Dr. Griciuc has a firsthand connection to Alzheimer’s: her maternal grandmother has been diagnosed with the disease.
“The support from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund made a great difference for my research. It allowed us to develop new projects, implement translational research (drug screening), generate novel animal models for neuroinflammation and Alzheimer’s disease, as well as establish a gene therapy strategy targeting our gene of interest, CD33.”