Boston - Newton resident Benjamin Wolozin, MD, PhD, a professor of pharmacology at Boston University School of Medicine, was one of nine Massachusetts researchers to receive a 2007 Memory Ride Grant from the Alzheimer's Association. Wolozin received a three-year investigator-initiated research grant for nearly $240,000 to study LRRK2 interactions with pathways linked to protein folding and degradation.
The LRRK2 gene provides instructions for making a protein called dardarin. The LRRK2 gene is active in the brain and other tissues throughout the body, but little is known about this gene or the dardarin protein. Mutations in LRRK2 are the most common genetic cause of Parkinson's Disease. Disease-related mutations in LRRK2 occur at many sites. The prevalence of LRRK2 mutations among subjects with Parkinson's Disease combined with the relevance to multiple types of pathologies emphasizes the importance of LRRK2, according to Wolozin.
"Understanding the biology of LRRK2 will provide insight into pathological processes and novel therapeutic approaches for a broad range of neurodegenerative diseases," said Wolozin.
Wolozin serves as the primary investigator for several studies at the Boston University Alzheimer's Disease Center. His interests focus on the pathophysiology of Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
The Alzheimer's Association is the leading voluntary health organization in Alzheimer care, support and research. Their mission is to eliminate Alzheimer's disease through the advancement of research; to provide and enhance care and support for all affected; and to reduce the risk of dementia through the promotion of brain health.