Julia TCW, PhD, assistant professor of pharmacology & experimental therapeutics, is the 2022 Toffler Scholar, and will receive support for the project, “Repair of Prodromal Circuitry Dysfunction to Nootropic Drugs in Alzheimer’s Disease (AD): Can Repopulation with AD Risk Free Human Microglia Improve Endpoint Drug Action in Adult Brain?”
The Toffler Scholar Program was established by the Karen Toffler Charitable Trust to support promising young medical researchers, physicians and scientists working on early-stage, future-focused brain science with funding and a vital, relevant network through an internal competition at BUSM.
Microglia, brain resident immune cells, intersect with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) genetics risk and play a major role in degrading cellular debris that accumulates during aging and neurodegeneration and respond to amyloid accumulation. Dr. TCW’s project will focus on microglia effects in network circuitry and memory formation by the removal and repopulation of microglia in rodent brains. Her lab will test whether prodromal circuitry dysfunction in AD can be repaired by replenishing AD genetic risk-free human microglia upon a removal of AD risk carrier microglia using a chimeric model transplanted human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC)-derived microglia into the rodent brain, potentially translate to microglial cell therapeutics for AD patients.