Focus Areas

Dr. Bu's Neurobiology of Alzheimer's Disease Lab focuses on identifying underlying risk factors for Alzheimer's disease (AD) to develop novel methods to diagnose and treat Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Bu's research is focused in several areas:

  • ApoE in AD and related dementias. Dr. Bu's lab is focused on investigating the roles of apolipoprotein E (apoE) in AD and related dementias.
  • Triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2) in AD. The lab is exploring the pathogenic mechanisms of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 (TREM2), another gene that indicates a risk of developing Alzheimer's disease, with the ultimate goal to develop novel methods to diagnose and treat AD.
  • Cerebrovasculature in AD and dementia. Studies in Dr. Bu's lab attempt to define the cerebrovascular effects of apoE isoforms to explore the potentials of apoE- and vascular-targeted therapies for AD and aging-related cognitive decline.
  • Rejuvenating neurons: Signaling pathways. Dr. Bu's lab is discovering that impairment of signaling pathways plays an essential role in regulating synaptic integrity and functions even in the absence of amyloid pathology. Additionally, Dr. Bu's lab has discovered that insulin signaling in the brain and glucose uptake provides novel insights into insulin resistance in Alzheimer's disease.
  • Human iPSC models. The lab has found that 3D brain organoids from AD patient-derived iPSCs could recapitulate AD-like pathologies. The establishment of this valuable model provides the opportunity to study the effects of apoE isoforms and disease-related pathways in a physiologically relevant environment and enables the development of novel therapeutics for treating AD.
  • Human biomarkers and pathological studies. The results from human studies are dedicated to integrating different levels of data, such as clinical data, neurological data, RNA sequencing data and animal behavior data, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of AD etiology, pathology and treatment.