Robert Mercer, an Instructor in the Harris lab, was recently awarded a research grant funded by Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease Foundation. This two-year, $100,000 grant is entitled “Microenvironment mapping of the PrPSc Interactome”.

Prion diseases are fatal and currently untreatable neurodegenerative diseases of humans and animals. The central event underlying these diseases is the 3D conversion of the prion protein (PrPC) to a pathogenic shape, denoted PrPSc. In attempts to elucidate its function, there have been multiple studies analyzing the interaction network, or interactome, of PrPC. However, almost nothing is known about the interaction network of PrPSc. Here, we propose to examine the PrPSc interactome for the first time, providing a wealth of new targets for therapeutic intervention.