MetLife Foundation awards TAU scientist for research on Alzheimer's disease

Dr. Inna Slutsky wins the Promising Investigator Award
28 July 2016
MetLife Awards
2016 winners John Cirrito, Inna Slutsky, Miia Kivipelto, and Guojen Bu pose with Dennis White (center), president of MetLife Foundation. Image via Metlife Foundation

On July 25th, the MetLife Foundation presented four awards to scientists who showed excellence and innovation in their research of Alzheimer’s disease. For thirty years, these awards have honored significant advances in Alzheimer’s research and enabled further progress in tackling this growing public health challenge. Past winners include 4 Nobel Prize winners and 39 winners of the Potamkin Prize. In 2016, the four winners received awards totaling $350,000.

 

Tel Aviv University is honored that Dr. Inna Slutsky from Sackler’s Department of Physiology & Pharmacology is one of this year’s prestigious winners. She received the Promising Investigator Award in recognition of her innovative work in studying synaptic function in the brain, particularly in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

 

Her creative approach to studying synaptic function and failure involves utilizing an integrated system of Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) spectroscopy, high-resolution optical imaging, electrophysiology, molecular biology and biochemistry. This system enables simultaneous real-time visualization of structural reorganization in spatially-restricted signaling complexes and functional modifications of single synapses in brain circuits. Since this integrated system works at the single synapse level, Dr. Slutsky believes it will contribute to a better understanding of how neuronal and synaptic function begins in Alzheimer’s disease. As Dr. Slutsky stated, “If we can identify the mechanisms associated with homeostatic synaptic function, we will be at the threshold of developing guidelines and therapies for maintaining synaptic health. Save the synapse and you save the brain.”

 

The MetLife Award will enable her team to leverage knowledge and expertise from other fields such as neuroscience, physics and computational biology. Read more at the MetLife Awards Foundation website.

 

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