Allison Elliott-Shannon

By

College: Medicine

Van Eldik Awarded Alzheimer's Drug Discovery Research Grant

Published: Jan 24, 2011

LEXINGTON Ky. (Jan. 24, 2011) - Linda J. Van Eldik, director of the University of Kentucky Sanders-Brown Center on Aging, has been awarded a $750,000 grant to further her research into a possible treatment for Alzheimer's disease. The grant is from the Edward N. And Della L. Thome Memorial Foundation, and was one of only eight Awards in Alzheimer's Disease Drug Discovery Research to be given in the U.S. in 2010.

Van Eldik's research project focuses on developing an orally active, small molecule drug to inhibit the protein kinase known as p38alphaMAPK. The protein stimulates overproduction of detrimental inflammatory molecules in the brain called proinflammatory cytokines. In normal brain activity, inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules operate together to keep brain functions in balance. In the brains of people who have Alzheimer's disease, this balance appears to be disrupted and the overproduction of proinflammatory cytokines leads to poor neuron function, and eventually symptoms of dementia.

Because inflammatory and anti-inflammatory molecules both serve important roles in normal brain function, it is not possible to treat Alzheimer's disease by turning off all inflammatory molecules in the brain. Rather, a successful compound must selectively target proteins like p38alphaMAPK that drive the disruptive inflammatory responses. Van Eldik's goal is to develop a selective small molecule drug to act on this culprit kinase to suppress overactive production of pro-inflammatory cytokines.

Successful so far in an animal model of Alzheimer's disease, Van Eldik's p38-targeted compounds have promise. The grant from the Thome Foundation will enable her to refine the best compound for possible use as a drug. Research will continue in cellular and animal models, as Van Eldik and her collaborators work to identify an optimal candidate drug for future clinical development and testing in humans.

Learn more about Van Eldik and the Sanders-Brown Center on Aging here.

vaneldik_photo22_dec09.jpegvaneldik_photo2_dec09.jpeg
August
 
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
Sat
2
 
Sun
3
 
Mon
4
 
Tue
5
 
Wed
6
 
Thu
7
Curator Tour
Fri
8
 
Sat
9
 
Sun
10
 
Mon
11
 
Tue
12
 
Wed
13
 
Thu
14
 
Fri
15
 
Sat
16
 
Sun
17
 
Mon
18
We Are UK
Tue
19
 
Wed
20
 
Thu
21
Parent and Families Reception
Fri
22
K Team Meeting: K Week Overview
Big Blue U
Campus Ruckus
Getting Around Campus and Beyond
Sat
23
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Fast and Furious 7
K Team Meeting: Lunch and Campus Tour
UK Lex-Mart
Pedalpalooza
Bowman's Bash
Sun
24
Bowman's Bash
K Team Meeting: Dinner with Your K Team
Kentucky at Kroger
Mon
25
K Team Meeting: Common Reading Experience Discussion
Bicycle-Friendly Lexington
Tue
26
First Day of Classes
Don't Steal Bikes, Bro
Understanding Lexington's Bicycle Facilities
First Day of Classes
Wildcat Wellness Meditation
Wed
27
The Late Night Film Series Presents - The Wind Rises
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Avengers: Age of Ultron
Adjusting to College
Wildcat Wellness - Yoga for Relaxation
Painting and Mocktails
Terrace Time Out at the Hilary J. Boone Center
Thu
28
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Divergent
The Late Night Film Series Presents - Ex Machina
Wildcat Block Watch
Chapel Talk: Faith and Science in an Evolving World
Royalty Showcase
Fri
29
 
Sat
30
 
Sun
31
Wildcat Wellness Expressions - Inspiration Object
UK Mock Trial Informational Meeting
Mon
 
 
 
 
 
Reset Page