The OHSU School of Medicine Dean's Fund award funds a collaborative effort
The OHSU School of Medicine Dean's Fund award funds a collaborative effort involving four principal investigators from different departments.
Joe Quinn, M.D.
Randy Woljter, M.D.
Doris Kretzschmar, Ph.D.
Genetics and the CROET
Phillip Copenhaver, Ph.D.
Cell and Developmental Biology
For this project, we integrated our different model systems of Alzheimer's disease (AD) into a ‘translational suite' for testing candidate drugs that might be beneficial to patients suffering from AD, with the goal of establishing a new resource that could be used by other investigators with interests in drug development for AD. The Dean's Fund project was primarily meant to serve as a ‘proof of principle', but in the course of conducting our experiments, we also successfully screened a panel of clinically approved dihydropyridine compounds (currently used to treat hypertension) as candidate drugs for ameliorating amyloid-related neurotoxicity.
As described in our paper referenced above, all four of our assays identified isradipine as a promising drug that could be ‘re-purposed' for treating patients in the early stages of AD (mild cognitive impairment). Our next step is to advance our analysis of isradipine into more extensive tests in AD mouse models and potentially into clinical trials. In addition, this new translational suite of bioassays can be of benefit to other investigators who wish to test candidate compounds that might be useful in the treatment of AD.