Jing Guo, PhD, a post doctoral fellow in the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research, recently received an honor at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS)’s national meeting of all the Morris K. Udall Centers of Excellence for Parkinson’s Disease Research. She presented recent work from the Penn Udall Center showing how one disease protein can morph into different strains of aggregates and promote misfolding of other disease proteins commonly found in Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other related neurodegenerative diseases, which was published in Cell on July 3rd this year. The poster presentation prompted a lot of questions and conversation among the researchers in attendance, earning her poster 1st prize among other posters from Udall Centers around the country.
The work is being carried on within the lab, where the neuropathology team is looking into the presence of pathological strains in human brains.
Guo is renewing her focus on the tau protein, hoping to establish a sporadic model of tau disease. “My goal is to make [the induction of tau pathology] work in a wild type context, as that would be a better model for sporadic diseases,” said Guo. “Our hypothesis is that maybe we haven’t been using the right strain of pathological tau that is infiltrating human brains.”