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.
Dr. Morales is the recipient of:
- The CJD Foundation Grant, contributed by the Families of the CJD Foundation
- International CJD Awareness Day Research Grant, contributed by the Families of the CJD Foundation
- The Jeffrey A. Smith Memorial Grant, contributed by The Jeffrey and Mary Smith Family Foundation
- The Strides for CJD Grant, contributed by the Families of the CJD Foundation