Onder Albayram, MSci, PhD, has been awarded an Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship

Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) researcher, Onder Albayram, MSci, PhD, has been awarded an Alzheimer’s Association Research Fellowship Grant. Albayram, a member of the Division of Translational Therapeutics, has received international recognition for his work to develop more effective drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

“Our study would not only elucidate molecular mechanisms of the underlying early pathology in AD, but also might bring a unique approach for therapeutics directed specifically against the earliest misshapen pathogenic proteins in various neurodegenerative disorders,” said Albayram. “I feel very honored to receive this prestigious award.”

Symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease including memory loss and cognitive decline are thought to be the result of sticky clumps of a protein called tau forming in the brain. Studies of the brains of boxers, American football players and blast-exposed veterans have revealed widespread tau protein tangles as well. However, researchers weren’t sure whether the tau tangles are a cause or an effect of neurodegeneration.

In previous work, Albayram and colleagues discovered that the tau protein exists in two distinct shapes – one that’s essential to normal brain function and one that leads to memory loss in AD. Albayram made the groundbreaking discovery that the toxic version of the protein, cis-pTau species, leads to injury-induced AD. His research interests include novel techniques and development of new therapeutics are possible for traumatic brain injury-linked AD.

Albayram is one of three Beth Israel Deaconess (BIDMC) researchers who have been awarded grants from the Alzheimer’s Association this fall. Ping Kun Lu, MD, PhD, and Todd Williams, III, PhD, were also awarded grants from the Alzheimer's Association, the world’s largest voluntary health organization dedicated to Alzheimer’s disease.

TASSA Board congratulates Onder.

Alzheimer's Association website