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Dr. Surabhi Mehra

Grant Title: Understanding the molecular mechanism of spontaneous prion emergence in knock-in mouse models

Location: Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Diseases, University of Toronto

Grant Year: 2024
In many cases, prion diseases appear to happen in the brain without a clear cause, and we’re not sure how this happens in the brain. Recreating these natural brain disease situations in animals for testing medicines is a big challenge. Our goal is to study mice with specific genetic changes linked to prion diseases, trying to figure out what happens early on and how we might be able to intervene. We’re focusing on mimicking these conditions in knock-in mouse models with normal prion protein levels to learn how the disease develops in patients with spontaneously formed prions. Our hope is that this research will lead us to discover improved treatments in the future.

About the Researcher:

Dr. Surabhi Mehra earned her PhD in Biotechnology from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Bombay), India, specializing in protein aggregation and amyloid formation, with a primary focus on α-synuclein and Parkinson’s disease. In 2021, Dr. Mehra joined as a postdoctoral fellow at the Tanz Centre for Research in Neurodegenerative Disorders, University of Toronto, Canada expanding her expertise in the prion field. Currently, her research is focused on understanding the spontaneous formation of prions in the brain by utilizing mouse models designed to mimic genetic prion diseases. The research aims to gain insights that may pave the way for developing targeted drugs aimed at impeding the progression of prion diseases.

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