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Two Scientists Honored with MetLife Foundation Awards for Medical Research in Alzheimer's Disease
Date:2/18/2009

esigned inhibitor of gamma-secretase, a protease that is considered an important target for developing new therapies for Alzheimer's disease. The gamma-secretase inhibitors developed in the Wolfe lab have served as chemical probes, providing critical information on the mechanism, identity and biological role of this key protease. In recent years, the Wolfe lab has expanded into the investigation of how changes in RNA can cause Alzheimer's and related dementias, and how certain RNAs can be targeted for therapeutic purposes.

Dr. Wolfe received his B.S. in chemistry from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, his Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of Kansas, and postdoctoral training in cell biology at the National Institutes of Health. After five years at the University of Tennessee, he joined the Harvard faculty in 1999. Dr. Wolfe was recognized in 2003 with the Sato Memorial International Award from the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan. In 2006, he founded the Laboratory for Experimental Alzheimer Drugs at Harvard Medical School.

Dr. Iwatsubo is professor in the Department of Neuropathology in the Graduate School of Medicine at the University of Tokyo. Dr. Iwatsubo has pursued the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease (AD) and related neurodegenerative conditions through multidisciplinary approaches, based on histopathology and protein biochemistry of postmortem human brains. He has extended the knowledge derived from the human studies by establishing cellular and genetic models and elucidating the key steps in the pathological cascade of neurodegeneration.

Dr. Iwatsubo's findings have provided a firm basis for the currently prevailing b-amyloid hypothesis. The Iwatsubo group has focused on the mechanisms of y-secretase complex that cleaves the C terminus of Ab, and demonstrated that PS, APH-1, nicastrin and PEN-2 are th
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