The Rockefeller University (Advisor: Dr. Sidney Strickland)
Cellular & Molecular Neuroscience
- BS, Boston College
- PhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (Advisor: Dr. Anne Schaefer)
Ana Badimon earned her PhD in neuroscience at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. her thesis work, which focused on understanding microglia-mediated regulation of neuronal activity, was supervised by Dr. Anne Schaefer. As a Leon Levy Research Fellow, she will investigate the role of the plasma contact system in Alzheimer’s disease in Dr. Sidney Strickland’s Laboratory at Rockefeller University.
How contact system activation could affect the brain, and most notably the pathology of Alzheimer’s disease.
Previous studies suggest that Alzheimer’s disease (AD) pathology begins decades before signs of cognitive decline. Thus, it is important to identify the early-developing pathologies of the disease and what contributes to its progression. One such contributor is the plasma contact system, a group of plasma proteins that respond to the presence of invading pathogens and physiological materials, which has been found to be active in AD patients. Dr. Ana Badimon aims to examine how plasma contact system activation leads to vascular and inflammatory changes, and how these changes affect AD pathogenesis, both before and after AD symptom onset. She will do so by activating the contact system in mice and then examining brain, blood, and colon pathologies. Her research program will have significant basic and clinical relevance not just for those with AD, but also those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), as her proposed methodology of using dextran sulfate to activate the plasma contact system also causes intestinal inflammation and is a well-established experimental model for IBD in mice. This intersection of AD and IBD and the role of chronic plasma contact system activation is a hugely relevant and efficient approach as patients with IBD are at higher risk for and often suffer from earlier cognitive decline.