There is no treatment or prevention for prion diseases. Current efforts in prion therapy development generally focus on a single aspect of the complex prion diseases. We will attempt to develop effective and affordable prevention and treatments for prion diseases using both cutting-edge gene therapy approaches and conventional drugs to simultaneously suppress prion replication, protect brain cells against toxicity and damage, and reduce the cellular prion protein that is essential for both prion replication and pathogenesis.
About the Researcher:
Dr. Kong earned his B.S. and M.S degrees in Biochemistry from Nanjing University in 1987 and 1990, respectively, and he completed his Ph.D. degree in Molecular Virology at the University of Massachusetts in 1996. He received his postdoctoral training in Molecular Immunology at Yale University 1996-2000, after which he joined the Department of Pathology at Case Western Reserve University as an assistant professor. Dr. Kong is currently a tenured Associate Professor of Pathology and Neurology and Associate Director of National Prion Disease Pathology Surveillance Center at the School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH 44106, USA.
Dr. Kong’s research interests center on prion protein (PrP) and prion diseases as well as gene therapies, including public health risks of animal prions, animal modeling of human prion diseases, skin prions and novel human prion diseases, early diagnosis of prion diseases, etiology of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), processing of the normal cellular PrP, and gene therapies for cancer, diabetes, and prion and other neurodegenerative diseases. He is on the editorial boards of a few journals, including Frontiers in Neuroscience and Annals of Translational Medicine. He has served on several review panels for grant agencies and private foundations, such as NIH, USDA, Alberta Prion Research Institute (Canada), and Alzheimer’s Association.
Dr. Kong is the recipient of:
- The Garry Buttermann, IV, Memorial Grant, contributed by Jill Canuel
- The CJD Foundation Grant, contributed by the Families of the CJD Foundation
- The Michael H. Cole Memorial Grant, contributed by Jeanne Cole
- The Ernie Donahue III Memorial Grant, contributed by Sabrina Donahue-Moore and Family
- The José A. Piriz and Sonia E. Piriz Memorial Research Grant, contributed by Karla Piriz and Lauren Piriz
- The Tom Stivison Memorial Grant, contributed by Cookie Stivison
- The Theresa A. Strauskulage Memorial Grant, contributed with Love by Her Siblings
- The Strides for CJD Grant, contributed by the Families of the CJD Foundation