The research of Dr. Bu's Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease Lab is focused on identifying risk factors for developing Alzheimer's disease to develop new ways to diagnose the disease earlier and develop new treatments.

Research focus areas

Dr. Bu's research is focused on understanding why a specific allele of the apolipoprotein E gene, APOE ɛ4, represents a strong risk factor for Alzheimer's disease (AD). Specifically, Dr. Bu's lab focuses on dissecting the biological and pathological functions of apoE and apoE receptors, which play critical roles in brain lipid transport, synaptic function and amyloid-beta metabolism in AD.

His laboratory is also interested in low-density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LRP1) and heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), with particular emphasis on their roles in the pathogenesis of AD and related dementias.

Additionally, the Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease Lab is exploring the pathogenic mechanisms of another gene that indicates a risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2), with the ultimate goal of discovering new ways to diagnose and treat AD.

Dr. Bu's lab utilizes molecular and biochemical tools to study the functions of apoE, apoE receptors and TREM2 in brain lipid metabolism, signal transduction, synaptic plasticity, neuronal viability and memory, neuroinflammation, along with investigating both the Aβ-dependent and independent pathogenic pathways in AD. Several new mouse models have been developed in the lab to uncover the effects of apoE and TREM2 in an age-dependent manner in different cell types and to further determine how apoE isoforms and TREM2 variants modulate these events. To address disease mechanisms and human relevance, the Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease Lab also utilizes patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and human specimens.

About Dr. Bu

Dr. Bu is a neuroscientist at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, and a professor of neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science. His research focus is to find new ways to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease.