Center investigator awarded over $350k grant from Department of Defense

Dr. Benjamin Combs, Research Assistant Professor at Michigan State University, was awarded a Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) Peer Reviewed Alzheimer’s Research Program (PRARP) Convergence Science Research Award from the Department of Defense for his project “Tau toxicity and retrograde axonal transport.” Dr. Combs will use transgenic mouse models and primary neuron cell culture to study the role of tau protein in regulating axonal transport and how disease-modified tau protein may disrupt this critical neuronal process. Axonal transport is disrupted in Alzheimer’s disease and pathogenic forms of tau are a likely cause of this effect that leads to neurodegeneration. The overall goal is to understand mechanisms of tau toxicity with the hope of better understanding the underlying causes of disease and identifying potential targets for therapeutics. The award total is $352,125 over 3 years.