Wendy Wei Qiao Qiu, M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
Department of Pharmacology
M.D.: Beijing Medical College
Ph.D.: Cornell Medical College
Wendy Qiu is an Associate Professor in the Psychiatry Department, Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics Department, Alzheimer’s disease Center (ADC) at Boston University School of Medicine. She is also a faculty member in the Neuroscience Program at Boston University.
Dr. Qiu is both a physician and a scientist. She is a Board Certified Psychiatrist who was trained at Tufts Medical Center and at the Payne Whitney Clinic, New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cornell Medical Center. She currently spends 50% of her time caring for patients with dementia and other psychiatric illnesses, including late life depression, and seeing patients in the ADC for the clinical trials. Many of her patients seek care at BU because they are frustrated with their deteriorating cognitive function and their behavior or mood symptoms are causing tremendous burdens for their caregivers. Motivated by her desire to help patients with devastating diseases in geriatric psychiatry, especially dementia which frequently lacks diagnostic tools and effective therapies, Dr. Qiu devotes the other 50% of her time to researching the fundamental causational mechanisms of these diseases, and to translate her findings to seeking biomarkers for the diagnoses and treatment of psychiatric illnesses.
- Identifying and studying the modifiable and non-modifiable risk factors and their mechanisms in Alzheimer’s disease (AD): We have an established homebound elderly population in the Boston area, and we are performing longitudinal evaluations of their cognition, psychiatric, and neurological conditions. Some of the homebound elderly have also taken part in brain imaging. Our study focuses on the relationship between late life depression, type 2 diabetes, and AD. Investigating the brain’s regulation of emotion, obesity/diabetes, and cognition in AD pathogenesis will help to develop novel treatments for the intervention and early treatment of AD.
- Identifying and studying the communication between peripheral biomarkers and brain abnormalities in aging and the prodromal stage of AD: We are targeting biomarkers that could lead to an early diagnosis of AD, especially Aβ peptides and cytopkines found in blood and cerebral spinal fluid. We are also using neuro-imaging such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), to study these biomarkers and brain composition.
- Investigating the Insulin Degrading Enzyme: Our study and others have identified that the insulin-degrading enzyme (IDE) plays a key role in the clearance of amyloid beta peptides (Aβ), a major component in AD pathology. IDE also degrades insulin and amylin, and it might be a key component in type 2 diabetes. Our research goal is to further investigate whether defects of IDE activity and its regulation accelerates AD pathology in the elderly who suffer from type 2 diabetes.
Qiu WQ, deBruin D, Brownstein BH, Pearse R, Ravetch JV. Organization of the human and mouse low-affinity Fc gamma R genes: duplication and recombination. Science 1990; 248: 723-735.
Feinman R, Qiu WQ, Pearse RN, Nikolajczyk BS, Sen R, Sheffery M, Ravetch JV. PU.1 and an HLH family member contribute to the myeloid-specific transcribption of the Fc gamma RIIA promotor. EMBO J. 1994; 3852-60.
Qiu WQ, Ferreira A, Miller C, Koo EH, Selkoe DJ. Cell-surface beta-amyloid precursor protein stimulates hippocampal neuronal adhesion and neurite outgrowth in an isoform-dependent manner. J Neurosci. 1995; 15: 2157-67.
Qiu WQ, Borth W, Ye Z, Haass C, Teplow DB, Selkoe DJ. Degradation of amyloid beta-protein by a serine protease-alpha2-macroglobulin complex. J Biol Chem. 1996; 271(14): 8443-8451.
Qiu WQ, Ye Z, Kholodenko D, Seuber P, Selkoe DJ. Degradation of amyloid beta-protein by a metalloprotease secreted by microglia and other neural non-neural cells. J Biol Chem. 1997; 272 (10): 6641-6646.
Qiu WQ, Walsh D, Ye Z, Vekrellis K, Zhang J, Podlisny M, Rosner M, Safavi A, Hersh LB, Selkoe DJ. Insulin degradation enzyme released from microglial cells degrades extracellular amyloid-beta peptide and stimulates its oligomerization. J Biol Chem. 1998; 273(49): 32730-32738.
Vekrellis K, Ye Z, Qiu WQ, Walsh D, Harley D, Chesneau V, Rosner MR, Selkoe DJ. Neurons regulate extracellular levels of amylid beta-protein via proteolysis by insulin-degrading enzyme. J Neurosci 2000; 20(5): 1657-65.
Qiu WQ and Folstein MF. Insulin, insulin-degrading enzyme and amyloid-b peptide in Alzheimer’s disease: review and hypothesis. Neurobiology of Aging 2006; 27: 190-198
Qiu WQ, Price LL, Hibber P, Beull J, Collins L, Leins D, Mwamburi DM, Rosenberg, I, Smaldone BA, Scott TM, Siegel RD, Summergrad P, Sun X, Wagner C, Wang L, Yee J, Tucker K and Folstein M. Executive Dysfunction in Homebound Elderly with Diabetes J Ameri Geria Soci 2006; 54: 456-501.
Qiu, WQ, Sun, X, Selkoe, DJ, Mwamburi, DM, Huang, T, Bhadela, R, Bergethon, P, Scott, TM, Summergrad, P, Wang, L, Rosenberg, I and Folstein, M: Depression is Associated with Low Plasma Ab42 Independently of Cardiovascular Disease in the Homebound Elderly. Int J. Ger Psych 2007; 22: 536-542
Sun, X, Mwamburi, Bungay, K, Prasad, J, Yee, J, Lin, Y, Liu, TC, Summergrad, P, Folstein, M and Qiu, WQ: Depression, Antidepressants and Plasma Ab Peptides in those Elderly who do not have Cardiovascular Disease. Biological Psychiatry 2007; 62: 1413-7
Sun, X; Steffens, D.C; Folstein, M; Summergrad, P; Yee, J; Rosenberg, I; Au, R; Mwamburi, D.M and Qiu, WQ: Amyloid-associated depression: A prodromal depression of Alzheimer’s disease? Arch Gen Psych 2008, 65: 542-50
Sun, X; Chiu, C.C; Liebson, E; Crivello, N. A; Wang, L; Folstein, M; Rosenberg, I; Mwamburi; Peter, I and Qiu, WQ: Depression and plasma Amyloid β peptides in the elderly with and without apolipoprotein E4 allele. Alzheimer’s Disease & Associated Disorder 2009, 23: 238-44
Sun, X; Bhadelia RA; Liebson, E; Bergethon P; Folstein, M; Zhu, JJ; Mwamburi; Patz, S and Qiu, WQ: The Relationship between Plasma Amyloid-β Peptides and the Medial Temporal Lobe in the Homebound Elderly. Int J. Ger Psych 2010, in press
Qiu, WQ; Claunch, J; Nixon, EE; Fang, J; Li, M; Vangel, M and Hui, KK: The Effects of Acupuncture on the Brain Networks for Emotion and Cognition: An Observation of Gender Differences. Brain Research 2010, in press