As an emeritus research scientist in Mayo Clinic's Tumor Angiogenesis and Vascular Biology Lab, Pritam Das, Ph.D., focuses on mechanistic pathways involving brain endothelial cell alterations that could contribute to cerebrovascular dysfunction in Alzheimer's disease (AD), cerebral small vessel disease (CSVD), and vascular cognitive impairment and dementia (VCID).
- Determining the role of aberrant vascular endothelial growth factor receptor (VEGFR) expression in brain endothelial cell senescence and how this contributes to early cerebrovascular dysfunction in the AD brain
- Understanding how hypoxic conditions in the brain lead to dysregulation of VEGFRs, which has detrimental consequences on endothelial functions, leading to cerebrovascular and blood brain barrier alterations and, ultimately, CSVD
Significance to patient care
AD is a progressive neurodegenerative disease and is the most common cause of dementia of older adults. AD currently affects millions of people in the U.S. and, despite advances in the fields of neuroimaging and genomics, there is still no effective treatment for this disease. Similarly, CSVD is a highly prevalent condition among older adults and is the second most common cause of dementia. The molecular pathogenesis of CSVD is still poorly understood, with no drug specifically approved to reverse, halt or even forestall progression.
The knowledge gained from Dr. Das' studies will identify novel treatment strategies targeting cerebrovascular dysfunction in AD and other progressive neurodegenerative diseases, including VCID.