Vijay K Ramanan, M.D., Ph.D., collaborates with diverse teams across Mayo Clinic such as Study of Aging, Alzheimer's Disease Research Center and its affiliated research studies, the Aging and Dementia Imaging Research Laboratory, and the Division of Behavioral Neurology clinical practice.
His research interests center on the identification of population-level genetic and gene-environment interactions that influence clinical heterogeneity within Alzheimer's disease (AD), Lewy body dementia (LBD) and related neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Ramanan's work integrates cross-sectional and longitudinal multi-omics, neuroimaging and fluid biomarkers, and clinical and epidemiologic data for discovery.
- Resistance to pathology. Genetic variation is widely hypothesized to influence an individual's susceptibility to developing versus avoiding neurodegenerative pathologies. Integration of genomic data and imaging or fluid measures of amyloid, tau, alpha-synuclein and related factors allows for the investigation of this hypothesis.
- Resilience against pathology. Individuals can display differential coping in the presence of pathology. For example, expressing relative maintenance versus loss of clinical functioning in response to elevated brain amyloid burden. Genetic heterogeneity partly accounts for this, and identifying and harnessing these underlying pathways may provide new avenues for treatment.
- Clinical heterogeneity. Additional work focuses on genetic and gene-by-environment interactions that may account for sex differences, diversity of clinical syndromes including variant or atypical presentations, and differential responses to symptomatic medications used for AD and related diseases.
Significance to patient care
Improved therapeutic options are desperately needed for AD, LBD and related neurodegenerative diseases. Dr. Ramanan's research aims to identify inherited factors and gene-environment interactions contributing to clinical and pathophysiological heterogeneity within these disorders in order to:
- Allow for enhanced risk prediction
- Facilitate personalized counseling and management approaches
- Provide novel targets for drug therapies
- Awarded, Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Certification, United Council for Neurologic Subspecialties, 2020
- Participant, Institute on Methods and Protocols for Advancement of Clinical Trials Program in Alzheimer's and Related Diseases, 2020
- Recipient, Well-Being Award, Mayo Clinic School of Graduate Medical Education, 2020
- Associate editor, Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, 2019-present
- Participant, Member Engagement Committee, American Academy of Neurology, 2019-present
- Recipient, Mayo Brothers Distinguished Fellowship Award, Mayo Clinic, 2018