Dr. Qian Cai has received a renewal for a $2,625,000 R01 grant to study regulation of mitochondrial quality through mitophagy in Alzheimer’s disease.

The goal of this study is to establish a causative link between mitophagy deficits and early synaptic pathology in a physiological Alzheimer’s disease (AD) model and define mechanistic details of a strategy that can rescue mitophagy deficiency and bioenergetic dysfunction in AD mice. The identified mechanisms are expected to provide new concepts leading to preventive and therapeutic strategies that will benefit the growing number of AD patients who have mitochondrial deficits and metabolic dysfunction, and may suggest strategies for other age-related neurodegenerative disorders and healthy neuronal aging. Dr. Cai's studies will advance understanding of a critical early step in AD pathogenesis.