Aspen Brain Lab

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Amantha Thathiah, PhD

Amantha Thathiah, PhD

Amantha Thathiah, PhD, joined University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute’s faculty in January as the Brain Institute’s first recruit for a new initiative in the Neurobiology of Dementia.  Dr. Thathiah's research focuses on the cellular and molecular pathways involved in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. She received a BSc in biology from Baylor University (1998) and a PhD in cell biology from the University of Texas at Houston/University of Delaware (2004).
Dr.Thathiah then was a postdoctoral fellow (2005-2009) with Professor Bart De Strooper at the University of Leuven (KU Leuven) and the VIB Center for the Biology of Disease in Leuven, Belgium.  

She recently demonstrated that a small family of multifunctional GPCR regulatory proteins, known as the β-arrestins, are differentially expressed in the human  brain with Alzheimer's disease, and that β-arrrestin 2 is involved in regulation of the γ-secretase activity and Aβ generation.  These observations have potentially significant cell biological and therapeutic implications, and were recently published in Nature Medicine and Science.

With the Department of Neurobiology as her home department, Dr. Thathiah plans to continue her research on how G protein-coupled receptors and β-arrestins regulate the amyloid pathway, synaptic plasticity and cognition.  In addition, she will explore the therapeutic potential of modulating G protein-coupled receptors and  β-arrestin-dependent signalling complexes as treatments for Alzheimer's disease and other neurological disorders.

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