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U researcher honored for contributions to Alzheimer's breakthroughs

Karen Hsiao Ashe, M.D., Ph.D.

In her quest to prevent memory loss associated with Alzheimer’s disease, neurology professor Karen Hsiao Ashe, M.D., Ph.D., has achieved a number of research firsts. And in recognition of her work, Ashe was recently chosen by her peers in Alzheimer’s research as having 3 of the 18 most influential papers on the disease.

The journal Nature Medicine polled respected Alzheimer’s disease researchers, asking which papers have most contributed to the field since 2003. Receiving the most mentions was Ashe’s most recent paper, published in the March 2006 issue of the journal Nature, which identified a protein complex that causes memory loss in mice. This discovery paves the way for drug development that would target this complex, offering hope for new treatments for the disease.

Ranked third on the list was Ashe’s paper, published in the July 2005 issue of Science, that documented for the first time the reversal of memory loss in mice with significant brain degeneration. This discovery holds out hope that doctors may one day be able to reverse the effects of memory loss in humans.

Ashe also was recognized for her paper published in the January 2005 issue of Nature Neuroscience that found a more generalized group of memory-robbing molecules, which led to the March 2006 discovery.

Ashe’s fellow researchers aren’t alone in lauding her work. Earlier this year, Ashe was given the MetLife Foundation Award for Medical Research in Alzheimer’s Disease and the Potamkin Prize for Research in Pick’s, Alzheimer’s, and Related Diseases by the American Academy of Neurology.

Ashe holds the Edmund Wallace Tulloch and Anne Marie Tulloch Chairs in Neurology and Neuroscience.

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