Laura Vella

Harnessing the power of exosomes to understand Alzheimer’s disease

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The John Shutes Project Grant
Project Snapshot

Every year, the number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease increases due to our aging population and the lack of effective drugs currently available. This increase is a global problem and if we are to successfully intervene we need a clearer understanding of what’s driving the disease. Alzheimer’s disease is characterised by impairment in clearance of toxic molecules from brain cells which leads to cell death and ultimately memory deficits in affected individuals. We recently discovered a novel relationship between these toxic molecules and tiny vesicles trafficked around the brain, called exosomes. This project aims to determine the role of exosomes in Alzheimer’s disease with goal of understanding their contribution to disease progression. This study will reveal the potential that exosomes hold as drug targets and will provide the field with a new perspective on the onset and progression of Alzheimer's disease.

Where are they now?

Dr Laura Vella is a Senior Research Fellow in the Melbourne Dementia Research Centre based at the Florey Institute of Neuroscience and Mental Health at The University of Melbourne, Australia.