Professor Ling Li

PHARM Experimental&Clin Pharm
College of Pharmacy
Twin Cities
Project Title: 
Alzheimer's Disease - Pathogenic Mechanisms and Potential Therapeutics

The research in this laboratory focuses on the connections between Alzheimer’s disease and cardiovascular disease, in particular on the role of lipid/lipoprotein-related pathways in these disorders, using transgenic and knockout mouse models. The researchers employ a combination of genetic, pharmacological, behavioral, pathological, electrophysiological, and multi-omic approaches to address basic and clinical questions. Current research projects include:

  • The role of cholesterol, isoprenoids and protein prenylation in regulating synaptic plasticity and cognitive function in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Structure and function of high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and associated apolipoproteins (APO)
  • The therapeutic potential of HDL-mimetic peptides to rescue lipidation deficiency associated with APOE4 and to enhance cerebrovascular function and cognitive performance in aging and in Alzheimer’s disease
  • Modeling and reversing Alzheimer’s pathology via human iPSC-derived brain organoids
  • The role of systemic and neuro-inflammation in aging and in Alzheimer’s disease
  • The therapeutic potential of natural and synthetic anti-inflammatory compounds for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Impact of SARS-CoV-2 infection and its interaction with APOE on cognitive function and neuropathology in aging and Alzheimer's disease

The long-term goal of this research is to develop effective approaches to prevent/mitigate cognitive decline and other comorbidities associated with aging and Alzheimer’s disease. 

To better understand the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogensis of Alzheimer’s disease, the researchers are continuing to perform differential gene expression analysis on existing and newly generated brain RNA-seq databases. This approach will allow them not only to evaluate the overall changes in the transcriptome under pathophysiological conditions but also to identify novel molecular pathways that then can be exploited for therapeutic development for Alzheimer's disease.

Project Investigators

Dr. Juan Abrahante Llorens
Allison Chang
Professor Ling Li
Yejun Tan
Rui Zhong
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