Francesca Bartolini, PhD, is on the research faculty of Columbia University as an assistant professor of pathology and cell biology. Possessing a broad knowledge in the field of tubulin biochemistry and microtubule stabilization, she has extended that interest to studying the role of microtubule stability in neurodegeneration. By elucidating the role of amyloids in the regulation of microtubule dynamics and microtubule post-translational modifications, she hopes to find novel targets for therapeutic intervention in AD.
"I am extremely grateful to the BrightFocus Foundation for its vision in supporting critical advances in our understanding of AD pathology. Despite many efforts to find a cure for AD, I am struck by our lack of knowledge of the fundamental cellular mechanisms that lead to cytoskeletal changes and of the molecular connection between Aβ and tau, which together comprise the two major lesions in the brains of AD patients. We must devote attention and resources to understanding the biology of molecules directly involved in AD in order to conceive alternative hypotheses and identify novel therapeutic targets."