How can we clarify the
role of microbes in Alzheimer's and Asthma?
BY WORKING TOGETHER
Intracell Research Group connects individuals from across the globe working in academic research, clinical practice, diagnostics, and drug development to design, facilitate, and execute collaborative research projects. This approach maximizes funding and precious resources, such as patient samples, while engaging various experts and stakeholders to build well-informed scientific approaches and aid in the creation of novel diagnostics and treatments. To understand the role of microbes in chronic diseases like Alzheimer’s, interdisciplinary research studies are necessary. Our novel collaborations bridge research silos and bring groups together that would not normally interact.
Here are some of our collaborators participating in cutting-edge research projects:
David B. Corry, M.D., Baylor Coll. of Medicine, US
A Professor of Medicine-Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology. David is Board Certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. He is a Fulbright Endowed Chair in Pathology, Immunology, Allergy, and Rheumatology. His research interests and expertise include the fungal pathogenesis of asthma as well as the host immune response (t-cells, cytokine receptors, proteases, airway physiology). Recently he has engaged in clarifying the microbe hypothesis of Alzheimer’s with a particular interest in fungal infection.
Jenny Ekberg, Ph.D., Griffith Univ., Australia
Associate Professor of Neurophysiology at Menzies Health Institute Queensland (MHIQ) and School of Pharmacy and Medical Science (PAM) and Deputy Head of School (Research). Jenny has 20 years of experience in neuroscience research. She is one of the two research leaders in the Clem Jones Centre for Neurobiology and Stem Cell Research (CJCNSCR; 35 researchers in different fields), with a particular interest in uncovering the role of microbes in neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s
Garth D. Ehrlich, Ph.D., Drexel Univ., US
A Prof. of Microbiology and Immunology, and Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery at Drexel Univ. Coll. of Medicine (DUCoM). A fellow of both the American Assoc. for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Microbiology for contributions in the development of molecular diagnostics, genomic technologies, and evolutionary modeling of chronic bacterial pathogenesis. Garth is the founder and director of 3 Research Ctrs. of Excellence in the Institute for Molec. Med. and Infectious Disease at DUCoM: The Ctr. for Genomic Sciences; the Ctr. for Advanced Microbial Processing; and the Ctr. for Surgical Infections and Biofilms. He also directs Drexel Univ. Core Genomics Facility, the Molecular Pathology Laboratory for Drexel Medicine Diagnostics, and the Meta-Omics Shared Resource for the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Ctr.
Alexandra König, Ph.D., Memory Center CHU Nice, France
A Ph.D. in Neuroscience, Alexandra is a neuropsychologist at the Memory Clinic and Research Center at the Univ. hospital in Nice and a clinical research fellow at the Cobtek (Cognition, Behaviour, Technology) lab at the University Côte d’azur and the French Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA). She researches the intersection of Aging and Technology, namely the use of AI for improved and timely neurocognitive assessments in neurodegenerative and neuropsychiatric diseases. She is involved in the design of non-pharmacological interventions for dementia patients involving assistive technologies.
Richard Lathe, DSc, Univ. of Edinburgh, Scotland
A Professor and Honorary Fellow, Division of Infection and Pathway Medicine. Richard’s research aims toward an understanding of brain function and dysfunction as well as an interest in host-pathogen interactions. He focuses on the potential contribution of infectious agents to Alzheimer’s disease and other conditions including autism, epilepsy, and schizophrenia as well as understanding the link between steroid/sterol metabolism, cognition, aging, and brain disease.
Robert Rissman, Ph.D., UC San Diego, US
A Professor, Neuroscientist Director of UCSD’s Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center (ADRC) neuropathology and biomarker cores. They collect blood/plasma, DNA, CSF, and postmortem brain specimens from participants who are enrolled in UCSD’s longitudinal study. The goal of his research is to characterize novel biomarkers and the mechanisms underlying neuropathology in neurodegenerative diseases in addition to biofluid and retinal-based biomarker discovery. His lab works to understand the role of neuronal exosomes and other blood-based biomarkers in diagnosing AD and PD.
Guillaume Sacco, MD, Ph.D., Memory Center CHU, Nice, France
A geriatrician, Guillaume is the head of the Memory Clinic and Research Center at the University Hospital of Nice and a member of the scientific board of the French Geriatric Society. He has a particular interest in technology to sustain the aging of the brain and to understand and assess its consequences on autonomy.
Gina Sloan, Ph.D., CEO, Sloan Biologics, US
A Ph.D. in molecular genetics and microbiology, Gina Sloan is the CEO of Sloan Biologics. Her research experience spans vaccine development to consumer-focused disinfectants, with an expertise in developing products from ideations to commercialization. Her experience includes developing and launching products into healthcare, industrial, and consumer markets.
James St. John, Ph.D., Griffith Univ., Australia
A Life Technologist specializing in the creation and translation of therapies to repair injuries and diseases of the nervous system. He has a particular interest in understanding the biology of the olfactory system (sense of smell) and the role of glial cells in the functioning and repair of the nervous system. The three main areas of research are spinal cord injury, peripheral nerve injury, and the role of microbes in neurodegeneration.
The Adolph and Rose Levis Foundation Laboratory at the Center for Chronic Disorders of Aging at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has pioneered research on the bacterium Chlamydia pneumoniae and its role in Alzheimer’s Disease since 1998. We are thrilled to partner with this fantastic team, led by Dr. Brian Balin, Ph.D.
Galaxy Diagnostics has validated novel, world-class detection methods for stealth vector-borne pathogens associated with cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, psychiatric, and rheumatological diseases. They leverage sample enrichment techniques to detect low-abundance pathogens like Bartonella henslae (cat scratch disease), as well as other pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme Disease). IRG is honored to collaborate with Galaxy Diagnostics and their fantastic team led by CEO, Amanda Elam, Ph.D., and Co-Founder Ed Breitschwerdt, DVM, of NC State.
Sloan Biologics is a therapeutic research and development firm that is focused on the science behind the problem. Their focus is on developing therapies that address root causes with an interest in the host-microbe relationship.
The Shemesh Group at the University of Pittsburgh, led by Dr. Or Shemesh, Ph.D.
The Shemesh group is creating new technologies to understand and treat brain disease, a field we call “disease neuroengineering”. There are over 400 diseases of the nervous system, and we keep falling short of understanding their causes. What delays us is the lack of adequate research technologies. At this point in scientific history, we simply do not have the tools to accurately and objectively understand the origins of brain disorders. In recent years, we have seen an explosion in tools that aim at understanding computation in the brain. Our group is therefore taking the technological approach to understanding diseases of the nervous system: we are creating tools that enable tracking the etiology of brain disease.