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Rodrigo Morales, PhD

Grant Title: Exploring the zoonotic potential of porcine-derived materials from animals exposed to infectious prions

Location: Department of Neurology, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Grant Year: 2020



In this project, we plan to analyze the presence, quantity and zoonotic potential of prions in porcine meat collected from animals exposed to scrapie, chronic wasting disease (CWD) and bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE).

About the Researcher:

Dr. Rodrigo Morales received his doctoral degree (PhD) from University of Chile in 2009 (thesis work fully performed at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston). Currently, he is an Associate Professor at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). His main research interests involve studying the molecular basis of infectious prions, specifically prion strain diversity and interspecies transmission dynamics. Lately, his research interests have branched to study several aspects of Chronic Wasting Disease prions affecting cervids. He is also leading several funded programs dedicated to study the role of amyloid beta protein in Alzheimer’s disease and the pathological consequences of the cross-talk between different misfolded proteins. He has published more than 40 articles in the field of protein misfolding disorders.

Recipient of:

The Strides for CJD Research Grant

Contributed by: The Families of the CJD Foundation

Funds raised by the annual Strides for CJD run/walk have been applied to research grants awarded since 2016.