Rakez Kayed, a holder of Ph.D. degree, is Assistant Professor at the Department of Neurology and the Department of Cell Biology and Neuroscience and a member of the George and Cynthia Mitchell Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and the Sealy Center for Vaccine Development at University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, USA. Kayed is a pioneer in the development of conformational antibodies and their applications. The research in his laboratory focuses on tau and amyloid oligomers in neurodegenerative disorders, their structure, toxicity, and role in the disease pathogenesis. He and his team were able to engineer conformation-specific mouse monoclonal antibodies against tau and amyloid oligomers. The antibodies they developed do not recognize endogenous functional proteins, for instance, monomeric tau; they specifically bind and eliminate the pathological oligomeric form of the protein. They use these antibodies and other reagents and methods they developed to study neurodegenerative diseases in cell cultures, animal models, and postmortem tissues. These novel reagents have many applications, including vaccine development for treatment for AD and other tauopathies, early diagnosis and biomarkers, drug discovery, and design of new reagents that can decrease or eliminate tau and amyloid neurotoxicity.
Biography Updated on 4 November 2012