Brie Paddock, an SOU alumna and assistant professor in the university’s Biology Department, will discuss the role of metals in Alzheimer’s disease during a Friday Science Seminar on Friday, Feb. 22.
Paddock’s lecture will be in the Science Building Auditorium (Room 151) from 3:30 to 5 p.m. The lecture is free and refreshments will be provided by SOU’s STEM Division.
Alzheimer’s Disease afflicts 5.3 million Americans, has few current treatments and no known cure. The progressive, neuro-degenerative disease involves multiple factors – including genetic and environmental – and is characterized by abnormal plaque deposits and “tangles” in the brain, which disrupt communication between synapses and lead to losses in memory function.
Paddock’s talk will focus on current research on the amyloid hypothesis of Alzheimer’s, including the role of metals in the disease’s progression. A small percentage of cases are caused by a single gene, including rare mutations in Amyloid Precursor Protein and associated proteins.
Paddock joined SOU’s Biology Department in 2018, and teaches courses in animal physiology and principles of biology. Her background also includes molecular biology, immunohistochemistry and human physiology.
Her research centers on synaptic function using the fruit fly (Drosophila) model. Paddock helped develop a fruit fly model of Alzheimer’s disease, and uses the model to test the role of oxidative stress and environmental factors in the disease’s development, particularly in memory function and synaptic structure.
Her previous work included a determination of the molecular mechanism of calcium-dependent exocytosis at the synapse, a key event in cell-to-cell communication in the nervous system.
SOU’s Friday Science Seminar program offers presentations each week on topics ranging from biology to computer science to chemistry.